San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner had a postseason for the ages, leading his team to its third World Series win in five years. On Monday, Sports Illustrated announced the left-handed pitcher was named 2014 Sportsman of the Year.
Bumgarner is the first baseball player to capture the annual honor since Derek Jeter in 2009 and just the seventh in the last 26 years, joining Cal Ripken Jr. (1995), Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa (1998 co-winners), Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling (2001) and Jeter.
During the regular season Bumgarner was 18-10 with a 2.98 ERA in 33 starts for the Giants with 219 strikeouts, but in October he was otherworldly. Bumgarner was 4-1 with a 1.03 ERA and one save in his postseason-record 52⅔ innings, with 45 strikeouts against only six walks. He allowed seven total runs in seven games, including six starts.
Bumgarner capped his October dominance with five scoreless innings in relief in Game 7 of the World Series, on two days rest, to close out San Francisco's third title in five years. Bumgarner in 36 career World Series innings has a miniscule ERA of 0.25.