The 2020 season held many surprises, but one thing that wasn’t so surprising is the fact that 33-year-old first baseman, José Abreu, is your new AL MVP!
This award was announced by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America this evening on MLB Network, along with Freddie Freeman being chosen as the NL MVP. Abreu received 21 first place votes to carry him to the victory.
José’s initial reaction? An overflow of emotions. Tears were shed, hugs were given, and cheers were echoing through the room as he received the news on live television.
“First and foremost, I want to thank God for this blessing,” Abreu said in a White Sox press release. “It is very special to win this award, and even more doing it this year with all the adversities and challenges we faced. I feel extremely honored and humbled. I’ve worked hard for this, and even though I don’t focus on winning awards, getting this one just feels like a recognition to all the work, all the effort I’ve been doing during my whole career to get to this point. Now, my mom can really say that she has an MVP as a son, and she can keep saying that I am her MVP.
“This award is for my family, for Jerry [Reinsdorf] and the Chicago White Sox organization who gave me the opportunity to play in the big leagues and made my mom’s dream come true. To the fans and to all my coaches, teammates and everyone who has helped me and supported me, this is for you, too. Thank you also to all the writers who voted for me.”
This is the first time since Frank Thomas in 1994 season that a White Sox player has won the MVP award. Abreu has had a remarkable year for the White Sox, proving once again that he was MVP-caliber player and one of the best in the league. Winning the Rookie of the Year award in 2014 was a preview of what was to come, and he sure has proven himself in the years since. Without a doubt, we’ve seen the three-time Silver Slugger, three-time All-Star, and now AL MVP, develop tremendously.
Why did he win AL MVP? Well, the list can go on and on. His immense power and persistence has led him to be one of the biggest threats in the game on offense. More specifically, his consistency was outstanding throughout the past season. Abreu led the league in the shortened season with 60 RBIs, and was second in the league in with 19 home runs. His .317 batting average placed him third in the AL in the league with 76 hits, not to mention an .987 OPS. He also stayed healthy, and because of that, was able to play every single game in 2020.
One of the most memorable moments of 2020 for Pito? His six home runs in three games against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Yes, you heard that right. I’m sure we can all agree that it was amazing to continuously see him crush the ball against Cubs pitchers.
What makes Abreu so special isn’t just his talent at the plate, but also the type of teammate and leader he is, on and off the field. Also, don’t count Abreu out on defense, which he has also improved tremendously.
We’ve all lived through the dark years of the team, but imagine how Abreu feels, as one of the only threads to carry through the rebuild to the playoffs. I’m sure he has dreamed of being in the position that he is now, with a team that has nothing but a bright future ahead of it.
Abreu is now using his knowledge of the game to mentor the rookies on the team, and is a very well-respected individual by the coaching staff, his teammates, fans, and players around the league. Most of all,
Abreu plays with passion. He plays for the love of the game, for the love of his teammates, and has sacrificed a large part of his life for the game of baseball. That is why he deserves every part of this award. If he can carry this momentum into next season and continue to be a leader to this team, the possibilities are endless.
Congratulations to Pito on this amazing success!