Chicago pitcher named baseball’s top lefty
OKLAHOMA CITY, Dec. 28, 2016 – Chicago Cubs left-hander Jon Lester today was named as the winner of the 2016 Warren Spahn Award.
Presented annually to the best left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball (MLB), the Warren Spahn Award is based on a pitcher’s wins, strikeouts and earned run average. The award is named after Oklahoman and National Baseball Hall of Famer Warren Spahn, who holds the MLB record of 363 wins as a left-handed pitcher.
Lester’s statistics during the 2016 regular season were impressive, including 19 wins, 2.44 earned run average and 197 strikeouts. He threw 202.2 innings for Chicago.
Lester will be formally recognized Feb. 2 during the Warren Spahn Award Gala at the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame and Jim Thorpe Museum. The event is hosted by Oklahoma City’s Bricktown Rotary Club in conjunction with the Jim Thorpe Association.
“It’s an honor to be recognized, but it’s truly special to win an award that is named for a baseball legend like Mr. Spahn,” Lester said. “This award recognizes the hard work of our entire team. I accept it on behalf of my teammates and the entire Cubs organization.
A second-round draft pick in 2002 by the Boston Red Sox, Lester is a four-time All-Star and three-time World Series champion.
“Jon Lester has been close to winning the Spahn Award for several years,” said Greg Spahn, son of the late Warren Spahn. “This season he put it all together, helping the Cubs into the post season. I congratulate and welcome Jon to our list of great lefthanders.”
“The Warren Spahn Award is the only award in major league sports that is purely based on statistics,” said Bill Hickman, Warren Spahn Award Gala chairman. “Mr. Lester joins a list of honorees that include some of the best pitchers to ever take mound. We look forward to formally presenting him with this honor in February.”
“Farmers Insurance is honored to join Oklahoma City’s Bricktown Rotary in recognizing MLB’s best left-handed pitcher,” said Chris Meredith, director of government and industry affairs. “We are proud to support Bricktown Rotary and the important programs and services the organization brings to the Oklahoma City community.”
Past Warren Spahn Award winners include: Dallas Keuchel (2015), Clayton Kershaw (2014, 2013, 2011), Gio Gonzales (2012); David Price (2010); CC Sabathia (2007–2009); Johan Santana (2006, 2004); Dontrelle Willis (2005); Andy Pettitte (2003); and Randy Johnson (1999–2002).