CLEVELAND — Add another award to the mantle of Cleveland Indians pitcher Shane Bieber.
The Tribe right-hander was named the Professional Athlete of the Year, presented by SportsTime Ohio, during Thursday’s Greater Cleveland Sports Awards. The other finalists for the award were Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett and Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton.
In his acceptance video, Bieber thanked manager Terry Francona, acting manager Sandy Alomar, and the rest of his teammates and coaches for "battling all year long, amongst many challenges."
He also had a message for Indians fans, who missed out on watching his superb season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Even though you couldn't be there in person, I felt that support all year long and I appreciated it very much," Bieber said. "And I'm excited to see all of you in person again on Opening Day at Progressive Field on April 5th."
The 25-year-old Bieber had a spectacular 2020 MLB season, despite it being shortened to 60 games as a result of the pandemic. In 12 starts for the Indians, Bieber posted a league-best 8-1 record, 1.63 ERA and 122 strikeouts, which made him the first pitcher to win the MLB’s Triple Crown since Johan Santana of the Minnesota Twins did so in 2006.
He was unanimously voted the winner of the American League’s Cy Young Award.
In 2020, Bieber also led the American League in WAR (3.2), won-loss percentage (.889), fewest hits per 9 IP (5.353), and strikeouts per 9 IP (14.198). He began the season with a 14-strikeout performance on Opening Day against the Royals. By the time Bieber had pitched 50 innings for the season, he had tallied 84 strikeouts, the most by a starting pitcher in MLB history in that span, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Bieber’s other awards in 2020 included All-MLB First Team, American League Pitcher of the Month for August, and the MLB Player’s Choice Award as the American League’s Outstanding Pitcher.
You can watch more coverage of the Greater Cleveland Sports Awards below: