The Washington Nationals are on their way to the World Series and can credit the contributions of 36-year-old veteran Howie Kendrick, who was named MVP of the National League Championship Series on Tuesday.
"All the sweat, blood and tears, and grinding, the losses, the wins, everything comes down to this moment right here," Kendrick said, according to MLB.com's Anthony DiComo. "I can truly say this is the best time of my career, the best moment of my career."
Kendrick became the third-oldest player to claim NLCS MVP, according to MLB Stats, with only Willie Stargell in 1979 and Benito Santiago in 2002 being older when they earned the honor.
The veteran infielder went 5-for-15 with four doubles and four RBIs as the Nationals swept the St. Louis Cardinals.
Kendrick's enjoyed a resurgent 2019 campaign after missing all but 40 games in 2018. Over 121 regular-season contests, he hit .344/.395/.572 with 17 home runs. He also hit the decisive grand slam in Game 5 of the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Dusty Baker, who previously served as Nationals manager from 2016-17, was the first winner of the NLCS MVP in 1977. Upon joining Washington in 2018, Kendrick switched his jersey number to No. 12 for the duration of the season in honor of the fired manager, who Kendrick admires. Kendrick resumed wearing his customary No. 47 for 2019.