Ryan James Howard (born November 19, 1979) is an American Major League Baseball first baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies. Nicknamed "The Big Piece", Howard stands 6_feet 4_inches (193_cm) and weighs 240 pounds (110_kg). He bats and throws left-handed. Howard was the 2006 National League MVP. Howard is the fastest player to reach both the 100 and 200 home run milestones in Major League Baseball history, passing the marks in 2007 and 2009, respectively. Due to Howard's reputation as an extreme pull hitter, opposing managers often utilize an unusual infield shift with him at the plate, with the third baseman playing shortstop, the shortstop playing second base, and the second baseman playing in shallow right field. Howard was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He played for Missouri State University from 1998 to 2001. Howard finished his collegiate career with 50 home runs, 183 RBIs and a .335 career average in 172 games.
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