CLEVELAND -- Hank Aaron was the third player to join the prestigious 30-30 club, when he hit 44 homers and stole 31 bases for the Milwaukee Braves in 1963. Grady Sizemore became the 32nd player to join that club earlier this season.
So there's one link between Grady and Hammerin' Hank, and Sizemore has a chance at earning another with his inclusion on the ballot for the 2008 Major League Baseball Hank Aaron Award presented by Sharp. This coveted honor is awarded annually to the best overall offensive performer in each league, with each club having a nominee. Fans can vote here from Monday until Sunday, Oct. 12, to select the winner in each league. The winners will be announced before Game 4 of the World Series on Sunday, Oct. 26. Last year's winners were Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez and Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder. Originally introduced in 1999 to honor the 25th anniversary of Aaron breaking Babe Ruth's all-time home run record, the Hank Aaron Award was the first major award to be introduced in 30 years. Manny Ramirez won the first American League Hank Aaron Award in 1999 and is the only Tribe player to receive the honor. While Sizemore is a longshot MVP contender given his club's place in the standings this season, he certainly has numbers worthy of Aaron Award consideration. Sizemore, who entered Tuesday batting .271 with 33 homers, 38 doubles, five triples and 89 RBIs, is the only player in Indians history to notch 30 doubles, 30 homers and 30 stolen bases in a single season.
No stat better sums up what Sizemore brings to the Tribe from an offensive standpoint than that 30-30 stat. Joe Carter (1987) is the only other player in club history to achieve the feat.
"Ideally, as a leadoff guy, that's how I want to be looked at, as a guy who can hit for power, hit for average, get on base and steal bases and create runs by himself," Sizemore said recently. "I like to be in that category of both power and speed."
And to be in any category that includes Aaron is good company, indeed.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.