Madison Bumgarner, who may not leap tall buildings at a single bound but has all the remaining qualifications of a true superhero in NorCal, was named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year Monday, in a fitting tribute to the man who reset the bar in postseason play at precipitously lofty heights.
MadBum established a new record for number of postseason innings pitched with 52 and 2/3 innings, and recorded a 1.03 ERA, giving up a total of six runs. He walked six batters in seven appearances, struck out 45 and surrendered 28 hits.
Oct 31, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner waves to the crowd during the World Series victory parade on Market Street. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
His two victories before the start of the seventh game of the World Series, already had him pegged as the Most Valuable Player in the tournament, and then came his epic relief appearance in the most pressure-packed event in baseball.
Madison Bumgarner did what has never been done before in postseason play, and he made it look easy.
He took over forJeremy Affeldt
in the bottom of the fifth inning and went on to close out the game-all on two days of rest. Historically, teams on the road in the past ten Game Sevens, had won only one time, but the Giants beat the odds.
In surpassing some of the most exceptional players ever to play the game, Bumgarner elevated himself above the rest of the pack and has been recognized for his actions. Giants fans were already aware that MadBum was the sportsman of the year.
Now the rest of the world knows also.