Freddie Freeman wins National League MVP Award


The Atlanta Braves have an MVP winner for the first time in 21 years.

First baseman Freddie Freeman was named the 2020 National League Most Valuable Player, making him the first Atlanta player to take home the honor since Chipper Jones in 1999.

Freeman won the award with 28 of 30 first-place votes to beat out Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts (2) and San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado.

In a shortened 60-game season, Freeman hit .341/.462/.640 with an MLB-leading 23 doubles, 13 home runs, 53 RBIs and 51 runs scored while playing in every game.

He had a 1.102 OPS and won the NL 1B Silver Slugger Award for the second-straight season.

Freeman has never finished higher than fourth in NL MVP voting and he becomes just the fourth Atlanta player ever to win, joining Jones, Terry Pendelton (1991) and Dale Murphy (1982-83).

Johnny Evers (1914) and Bob Elliott (1947) won the award when the Braves were in Boston, and Hank Aaron won the honor in 1957 when they were in Milwaukee.

Murphy announced Freeman as the winner Thursday night on the MLB Network.

"This is absolutely incredible," Freeman said after the announcement. "Never did I ever think something like this could happen."

Freeman made headlines before the season when was diagnosed with COVID-19 just a few weeks before Opening Day, and he only returned to the team less than a week before its first game.

The four-time all-star struggled in his first 13 games, hitting .190.

But Freeman got back on track, putting himself in the MVP discussion over the next 47 games.

"I got off to just a slow start, I just didn't know when I would get my legs back," Freeman said. "With the help of my family, it was mentally draining, too, cause I wanted to play well immediately and it just didn't happen...

"I got a couple hits against the Blue Jays about two weeks into the season and things kind of took off from there."

He helped lead the Braves to their first NLCS appearance since 2001, had an NL-best 18-game hitting streak from Aug. 14 through Sept. 4, and was named the NL Player the Month in September.

Freeman was also voted as the Baseball Digest MLB Player of the Year, Baseball America Player of the Year, MLBPA Player's Choice Player of the Year, and MLBPA Player's Choice NL Outstanding Player this season.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Photo by Cooper Neill/MLB Photos via Getty Images