CLEVELAND — The 23rd Annual Greater Cleveland Sports Awards culminated on Wednesday evening to crown Cleveland Guardians star José Ramírez the city's Athlete of the Year.
Ramírez faced tough competition in the category with two fan favorites in their own right on the ballot. Browns running back Nick Chubb and Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen joined the Guards' third baseman vying for prestigious honor.
Before you look into what José Ramírez meant to the 2022 Central Division champion Cleveland Guardians from a pure baseball standpoint, it would be impossible to overlook the commitment Ramírez made to the organization and the city when he signed his seven-year, $141 million contract extension right before the regular season began.
To put that number into context, Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers signed an 11-year, $331 million contract extension during this past offseason. Ramírez signed for well under market value at his skill level and position and was happy to do it to stay in Cleveland, knowing that's what it would take to play for the city he loves.
In a year that saw dramatic off season additions to the Browns and Cavaliers roster, the Cleveland Guardians opted to go all-in on the youth movement, relying on the restocking of their roster around key veterans with young, mostly unproven talent.
Picked by many publications to finish fourth or even last place in the American League Central, Ramírez led one of the most unique offenses in recent memory en route to a division title.
Ramírez anchored the middle of the Guardians lineup, hitting .280 with 29 home runs, 126 RBI (third in MLB), 20 stolen bases, 44 doubles (second in MLB), and leading all of MLB in intentional walks with 20.
He accepted the award from his home in the Dominican Republic which can be seen below.
Ramírez is a first time winner of the award joining a list of Cleveland sports greats. Here is the previous history of the award:
- 2000: Manny Ramirez, Cleveland Indians
- 2001: Jim Thome, Cleveland Indians
- 2002: Jim Thome, Cleveland Indians
- 2003: Ben Curtis, PGA Tour golfer
- 2004: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
- 2005: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
- 2006: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
- 2007: CC Sabathia, Cleveland Indians
- 2008: Cliff Lee, Cleveland Indians
- 2009: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
- 2010: Josh Cribbs, Cleveland Browns
- 2011: Asdrubal Cabrera, Cleveland Indians
- 2012: Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
- 2013: Josh Gordon, Cleveland Browns
- 2014: Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians
- 2015: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
- 2016: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
- 2017: Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians
- 2018: Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns
- 2019: Stipe Miocic, UFC Heavyweight Champion
- 2020: Shane Bieber, Cleveland Indians
- 2021: Myles Garrett, Cleveland Browns