Tuesday afternoon, the Toronto Blue Jays announced that Hyun Jin Ryu won the 2020 Warren Spahn Award as the top left-handed pitcher in all of Major League Baseball.
The most recent award is a little icing on the cake after Hyun Jin Ryu had a successful first season with the Blue Jays.
The award was brought into Major League Baseball in 1999 and was named after Warren Spahn who holds the MLB record for most wins by a left handed pitcher. Spahn is a hero for more than just his baseball records, after making his major league debut just short of his 21st birthday in 1942, he would play out the season and head overseas to fight in World War II where he would receive the Purple Heart.
When Spahn came back to the major leagues he would pitch an additional 20 seasons, leading the league in wins eight times and taking home the ERA title three times. Over his 21 year career, Spahn would post a 363-245 record to go with a 3.09 ERA while throwing an astonishing 382 complete games. In 1973, the 17-time All-Star would be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
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When the award was established in 1999, Hall of Fame and one of the scariest pitchers to take the mound Randy Johnson won the award the first four years of its existence. Three other pitchers have won the award multiple times, Johan Santana (2), CC Sabathia (3) and Clayton Kershaw (4).
Ryu takes home the award after posting a 5-2 record over 12 starts and posting a 2.69 ERA, as well as finishing third in AL Cy Young Award voting. As Ryu enters the second year of a four year contract, the Blue Jays will be looking for the soon to be 34-year old to lead a group of younger pitchers forward in the foreseeable future. If Ryu can repeat this season, he could potentially not only have a chance to repeat winning this award, but help Toronto back into the postseason.
While he takes home the award today, the club can reward him soon with some starting rotation help.