CLEVELAND — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from Sept. 22, 2020.
The American League Most Valuable Player Award will have to wait another year to return to Cleveland.
On Thursday, the Baseball Writers' Association of America announced that Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu has been named the American League MVP for the 2020 season, with Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez finishing second.
Had he won the award, Ramirez would have become the fourth player in franchise history to do so and first to do so since 1953, joining George Burns (1926), Lou Boudreau (1948) and Al Rosen (1953). New York Yankees infielder DJ LeMahieu finished third in this year's voting, with Indians pitcher -- and 2020 American League Cy Young Award winner -- Shane Bieber and Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout rounding out the top five.
A 2-time All-Star and 3-time MVP finalist, the third time wasn't the charm for Ramirez, who made the most of a 2020 campaign that was shortened to 60 games as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Appearing in 58 games, the 27-year-old Ramirez hit for a .292 average (.993 OPS) to go along with 17 home runs, 46 RBIs and 2.2 WAR (wins above replacement) – the fourth-best of any position player in the American League.
Ramirez’s impact in 2020, however, can hardly be explained by simply looking at the stat sheet. Playing in an Indians lineup that was offensively challenged for much of the season, Ramirez was Cleveland’s most consistent hitter and fittingly hit a walk-off home run against the Chicago White Sox to clinch the team’s spot in the expanded 2020 postseason.