“Toronto Blue Jays ace pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu was named the Warren Spahn Award winner,” U.S. daily “The Oklahoman” reported on Tuesday. “Despite the difficulties of the COVID pandemic, Hyun-jin Ryu had a stellar year on the mound that was certainly worthy of this honor,” said the Warren Spahn Award Committee. It is the first time that an Asian baseball player receives the award.
The Oklahoma Sports Museum established the award in 1999 to remember Warren Spahn (1921-2003), the legendary pitcher who was inducted into the Hall of Fame with 363 victories in 1973, the most victories for a left-handed pitcher, that he locked in at teams such as the Boston Braves, the forerunner of the MLB Atlanta, from 1942 to 1965. The award is given to the best left-handed pitcher of a season, and many award winners often won the Cy Young Award as well.
Ryu Hyun-jin seemed like a strong candidate for the award after the previous MLB season ended in which he ranked first (2.32 ERA, 14 wins and five losses). But the South Korean pitcher lost to Patrick Corbin of the Washington Nationals who won in the MLB World Series last year.
Ryu wearing the uniform of the Toronto Blue Jays as a free agent recorded 2.69 ERA, five wins and two losses this season, which was reduced the number of matches to 60 due to COVID-19. He has the third most wins and second highest ERA among left-handed pitchers. His team will play in the post-season for the first time in four years since 2016 thanks to his excellent performance as the team’s ace. It seems that the award committee also highly assessed his leadership, which was demonstrated when he temporarily used the New York State stadium, as the stadium in Canada was not available due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Bae-Jung Kim email@example.com