Breaking News
More () »

Guardians' 2022 season named Moment of the Year at Greater Cleveland Sports Awards

From breakout performances to incredible walk-offs, the young Guards captivated the region with an AL Central title and run to Game 5 of the ALDS.

CLEVELAND — It was a moment none of us truly expected, but one we all reveled in when it indeed happened before our very eyes.

The Guardians' American League Central Division championship and improbable run to the division series was named as the 2022 Moment of the Year at Wednesday's Greater Cleveland Sports Awards. Bally Sports Great Lakes broadcasters Al Pawlowski and Matt Underwood presented the honor, which manager Terry Francona accepted on the team's behalf.

Prior to last season, much of the chatter surrounding the Guards was more about the club's name change than the players on the field, and most prognosticators expected them to be around .500, at best. But buoyed by contract extensions for José Ramírez and Emmanuel Clase along with breakout seasons from guys like Andrés Giménez and Steven Kwan, baseball's youngest team soon found themselves turning heads with stellar performances and incredible come-from-behind wins, and eventually finished the regular season 92-70 to win the Central going away.

That earned Cleveland a hosting spot in the AL Wild Card Series against the Tampa Bay Rays, where on Oct. 8, we saw what was arguably THE moment of the year in Game 2: With both teams still scoreless in the bottom of the 15th inning, fan favorite rookie Oscar Gonzalez clobbered a walk-off home run to the bleachers that sent the crowd into delirium and the team to the ALDS.

The Guardians battled the powerful New York Yankees in the division series and even took a two games to one lead, but losses in the next two matchups ended their ride without a championship. Still, the future looks bright on the corner of Carnegie and Ontario, with the organization racking up several accolades including Francona's third career AL Manager of the Year Award.

"It was pretty fun," Francona said Tuesday as he accepted the trophy, "but I'll tell you what: Put your seatbelts on for this year coming up."

Besides the season itself, José Ramírez also took home some hardware on this night as Cleveland's Professional Athlete of the Year. It's the 10th time a member of the club has won the award since its inception in 2000.


Before You Leave, Check This Out