(670 The Score) White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu was named the American League Most Valuable Player, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America announced Thursday evening.
Abreu garnered 21 of the 30 first-place votes, eight second-place votes and a third-place vote to finish with 374 points, which beat out Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez (eight first-place votes and 303 points) and Yankees infielder DJ LeMahieu (230 points). An emotional Abreu broke down sobbing and needed a minute or so to compose himself live on MLB Network after it was revealed that he won the award.
“First and foremost, I want to thank God for this blessing," Abreu said in a statement. "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.”
Abreu, 33, became the fourth player in White Sox history to win the award, joining Frank Thomas (1993, 1994), Dick Allen (1972) and Nellie Fox (1959). His sensational play as well as his leadership helped lead the White Sox to a resurgent 35-25 campaign and their first playoff berth since 2008.
Abreu hit .317 with 19 homers, 60 RBIs and a .987 OPS while playing all 60 games in the pandemic-shortened season. He led the AL in hits (76), RBIs, slugging percentage (.617) and total bases (148) while tying for the lead in WAR. Abreu became just the fourth player in MLB history to lead the AL in hits and RBIs, joining Jim Rice (1979), Carl Yastrzemski (1967) and Lou Gehrig (1931).
"I just have to keep doing what I have been doing throughout my whole career," Abreu said. "Winning this award did not make me bigger or better than the other players. Winning the award was exciting, but I must continue to do the same things I have been doing. We as a team must continue to move forward. What really matters is us as a team and what we do together. It's always been about us as a team. We have more things to do now."
Abreu’s previous best MVP finish was when he took fourth in 2014, when he won the AL Rookie of the Year award.
White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson finished seventh in the MVP voting.
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.