Abreu Checks All The Boxes For A Statue

Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu was named the American League Most Valuable Player for the 2020 season on Thursday night. Abreu is the first White Sox player to win the award since Frank Thomas in 1994. Since joining the White Sox in 2014, the Cuban-born slugger has been the most vital player to the franchise. Abreu deserves a statue for how much he has mattered to the franchise.

The White Sox organization has paid tribute to its best players with life-size statues all across Guaranteed Rate Field. Frank Thomas, Harold Baines, Paul Konerko, Charles Comisky, Minnie Minoso, Billy Pierce, Nellie Fox, Luis Aparicio, and Carlton Fisk are all members of the organization that have been enshrined with a statue in the outfield.

Abreu’s career achievements with the White Sox alone demonstrate that he deserves one as he has been one of the best players in all of baseball. In his 2014 rookie season, he won the American League Rookie of the Year award after hitting .306, driving in over 100 RBIs, and belting 36 home runs. Abreu and Albert Pujols are the only two players in Major League history to hit 30 home runs and drive in over 100 RBIs in the first two years of their careers.

The White Sox first baseman has now won Rookie of the Year, started in an All-Star Game, and now has won an MVP title. Abreu has appeared in three All-Star games and has won two silver slugger awards. In 2019, he led the league in RBIs while averaging 29 home runs and 95 RBIs during his seven-year career with the team.

Abreu’s Presence Alone Makes Him Worthy

While Abreu’s on-field achievement and accolades are impressive and noteworthy, it has been his presence with the White Sox, which makes him even more worthy of a statue. Abreu joined the team in Konerko’s final season in the majors. Without the World Series hero and team captain, the White Sox were going to be without a star going forward. Abreu stepped right into the role and was the only household name nationally for the white Sox other than Chris Sale from 2014 to 2016.

When general manager Rick Han decided to rebuild by trading Sale and other veterans away, Abreu was the lone star left on the team during a three-year rebuild. His presence in the clubhouse has been vital as a role model for young stars Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncada, Eloy Jimenez, and Luis Robert. Abreu’s signing, once defecting from Cuba, also played a role in the team signing Robert as an international free agent back in 2017.

Abreu has been a class act for the organization as he has been a top performer on the field while being a perfect representative for the team off the field. When the White Sox made it to the postseason this year for the first time in 12 seasons, many of the White Sox players wanted to win by their desire to give Abreu his first taste of postseason baseball. He didn’t waste it either as he homered in his second at-bat of the first game.

Whenever the first game of the 2021 season that features fans at Guaranteed Rate Field, Abreu will most likely receive a standing ovation from the fans in attendance. Whenever his career with the White Sox comes to an end, the first baseman should be given a statue. Abreu’s career has been as memorable as such Sox greats as Konerko, Thomas, and Fisk, and deserves to be remembered similarly.

 

Steve Pusch
Eastern Illinois University graduate, Steve earned a Bachelor’s in Journalism with a concentration in sports. While at EIU, Steve co-hosted a weekly radio sports talk show focused on Chicago.