(New York) Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox and Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves were named their respective league’s most valuable players on Thursday.
Abreu helped the White Sox advance to the playoffs for the first time since 2008. He led the Majors with 60 RBIs and the American with 76 hits. He played in each of the 60 games of the season cut short due to the pandemic.
The Cuban first-baseman received 21 of 30 first-place votes in a ballot with the Baseball Columnists Association of America.
Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez finished second, followed by New York Yankees infielder DJ LeMahieu.
Abreu, 33, maintained an average of .317 and slammed 19 home runs. He had a 22-game streak with at least one hitting, the longest of its kind this season in the Majors.
Invited three times to the all-star game, Abreu also won the American rookie par excellence in 2014. He is the fourth White Sox player to be named MVP, after Frank Thomas (1993 and 1994), Dick Allen (1972) and Nellie Fox (1959). The prize has been awarded since 1931.
Meanwhile, Freeman averaged .341 and hit 13 home runs, in addition to producing 53 points in 60 games.
Freeman got 28 first-place votes in the poll. He was followed by Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts and San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado.
In a pandemic-affected season from training camps to the World Series, it is almost fitting that the last major award given out went to someone who has been infected with the virus.
Three weeks before the start of the season in July, Freeman saw his temperature rise to 40.3 degrees Celsius and he lost all sense of taste and smell. He remembers fearing the worst and praying because he “wasn’t ready”.
The Braves’ first goal quickly regained strength and had an exceptional campaign. He dominated the Majors with 23 doubles and 51 points scored.
The Braves won the National East section title and moved on to a victory from their first World Series appearance since 1999.
Freeman is the sixth player in Braves history to be named the National MVP. The most recent was Chipper Jones in 1999. Freeman wears a ragged Braves sweater under his uniform. This sweater was given to him by Jones.