In a pandemic-affected Spring World Series training season, perhaps it was fitting that the last major prize of the year went to someone infected with the virus.Three weeks before the delayed opening day in late July, Freeman’s body temperature spiked to 104.5 degrees and he lost his sense of taste and smell. At one point, he recalls, he said a little prayer because “I wasn’t ready. ”
“I got off to such a slow start,” Freeman said on the MLB network after Dale Murphy, the NL’s two-time MVP with the Braves, announced the winner. . ”
The 31-year-old star has rebounded in a big way, hitting .341 with 13 homers and 53 RBIs while playing all 60 games. A powerful left-handed hitter with the ability to pulverize the ball all over the field, he led the majors hitting 23 doubles and scoring 51 points.
Reinforced by the four-time All-Star, the Braves won the NL East and clinched a victory after reaching the World Series for the first time since 1999.
Freeman is the sixth different player in Braves franchise history to be the NL MVP. Chipper Jones recently took the honor in 1999 – Freeman wears a tattered Braves t-shirt under his uniform passed to him by Jones.
Chicago White Sox slugger Jose Abreu won the AL MVP, recognition for bringing his team back to the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
It was the first time since Ryan Howard and Justin Morneau that a pair of first basemen have won MVPs.
Betts, 28, were trying to join Frank Robinson as the only players to win the MVP in both leagues. The outfielder won the AL honor in 2018 while leading Boston to the World Series title.
Traded by the Red Sox to Los Angeles earlier this year, Betts hit .292 with 16 home runs and 39 RBIs and was the catalyst for the Dodgers’ run to their first championship since 1988.
Machado hit .304 with 16 home runs and 47 RBIs as San Diego made its first playoff appearance since 2006.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.