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Ryan Ludwick

St. Louis Cardinals — No. 47
Right fielder
Born: July 13, 1978 (1978-07-13) (age 31)
Satellite Beach, Florida
Bats: Right Throws: Left 
MLB debut
June 5, 2002 for the Texas Rangers
Career statistics
(through 2009 season)
Batting average     .271
Home runs     87
Runs batted in     306
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Ryan Andrew Ludwick (born July 13, 1978 in Satellite Beach, Florida) is a Major League Baseball right fielder for the St. Louis Cardinals. His brother Eric played four seasons in Major League Baseball as a pitcher.

Contents

Childhood

Ludwick was a bat boy for the Pacific Coast League's Las Vegas Stars. He was selected for this job by Colin Cowherd during his tenure as the play-by-play voice for the team.

High school

Ludwick attended Durango High School in Las Vegas, Nevada.

UNLV Rebels

Ludwick played for the UNLV Rebels for three seasons before being drafted in 1999 by the Oakland Athletics in the second round, 60th overall. At UNLV, where he was named to the Baseball America all-Freshman team in 1997 after batting .354 with 16 home runs and 68 RBI, he was All-WAC in 1999, hitting .381 with 13 home runs and 69 RBI. Ludwick had a .363 career batting average at UNLV.[1]

Early career

Ludwick was originally a second round draft choice of the Oakland Athletics. Ludwick was traded to the Texas Rangers before the 2002 season, along with Gerald Laird, Jason Hart, and Mario Ramos, for first baseman Carlos Peña and pitcher Mike Venafro.

Ludwick made his major league debut with the Rangers in 2002, but his season was cut short when he fractured his hip the same year, an injury which significantly hampered his career. In 2003, Ludwick was traded by the Rangers to the Cleveland Indians for pitcher Ricardo Rodríguez and outfielder Shane Spencer. Ludwick spent the 2006 season playing for the Toledo Mud Hens, the Triple-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, and was named to the International League team for the 2006 Triple-A All-Star Game. Ludwick enjoyed great success in the Detroit organization, but due to a surplus of outfielders, Detroit made the decision to not offer Ludwick a new contract.

St. Louis Cardinals

In 2007, Ludwick was invited to spring training by the Cardinals and started in Triple-A Memphis. On May 6, 2007, Ludwick was promoted to the Cardinals after Preston Wilson went on the DL. In the 29 games preceding Ludwick's promotion, he hit .340 with 8 home runs at Memphis.

His fast start in 2008 earned him an everyday player role. Ryan was named to his first All-Star game on July 6 at Yankee Stadium in New York City. Ludwick won the National League Player of the week the week of July 27-August 2. On August 14, Ludwick hit his 29th home run[2] of the 2008 season; this broke the record for the most home runs in a season by a player who throws left-handed yet bats right-handed previously held by Rickey Henderson.[3]

Ludwick would go on to win a Silver Slugger Award at the end of the 2008 season for his offensive performance along with fellow outfielders Matt Holliday and Ryan Braun.[4]

After his breakout season of 2008, Ludwick started out 2009 with a solid April, posting similar figures to his 2008 season by hitting .297 with five home runs, and 19 RBIs. He was then slowed by a strained right hamstring which placed him on the DL for 15 games. After returning from his injury, Ludwick struggled with a .200 average during the month of June. He had a productive July, hitting .340, with six home runs and a league-leading 28 RBIs, landing him NL Player of the Month honors.[5] This gave the Cardinals 3 out of the last 4 NL Player of the Month awards, sandwiched by Albert Pujols's awards in April and June. At the end of the 2009 season Ludwick finished batting .265 with 22 home runs and 97 RBIs. Ludwick is primarily a right fielder, but also gets playing time in left field and occasionally in center field.

His at-bat introduction music is "Brass Monkey" by the Beastie Boys.[6] Several Cardinals fans have started a movement to make Ludwick's official nickname "Brass Monkey" because of it.

Personal

Ludwick and his wife, Joanie, reside in Georgetown, Texas, and have a son together.[7].

References

External links

 

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Albert Pujols
National League Player of the Month
July, 2009
Succeeded by
Ryan Howard
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