CHICAGO – One of the most touching images of the Major League Baseball awards week was the reaction of one of their winners to the honor of being named Most Valuable Player.
For Jose Abreu, it was a moment of pure emotion that played out in front of a worldwide audience.
When he heard his name called as the American League MVP, the White Sox first baseman at first put his hands in the air in joy. But over the next few moments, tears began to come from Abreu’s eyes, producing an emotional live moment on television.
Abreu put his head down a number of times as he was overcome with emotion after winning the award. There were lots of things going through his head as he became just the fourth White Sox player to win the award and third Cuban-born athlete in MLB history to do so.
Yet his mind was especially on his late grandmother and the impact that she had on Abreu.
“For me, it’s something special because she was the most beloved person in our family. She always encouraged me, she always supported me, she was everything in my life and everyone’s life in my family,” said Abreu during his news conference for the award on Friday.
The MVP showed that during the moments after being announced as the winner, pointing to a big picture of his grandmother that was sitting behind him in his home. She was on his mind when he delivered an impressive 60-game season in which he hit .317 with 19 homers and 60 RBI in helping the White Sox to the playoffs.
Certainly she was there Thursday, when Abreu’s celebration turned into one of pure emotion.
“Getting this award and just thinking about her, what this award would mean to her, was something that I couldn’t hold back,” said Abreu. “I think that is why I reacted the way I reacted yesterday and that’s why this award means what it means for me – and it means a lot.”
The video is all you need to tell that story.