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Korean pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin of the Toronto Blue Jays has received this year's Warren Spahn Award, which goes to the best left-handed pitcher in US Major League Baseball. © Yonhap News

By Oh Hyun Woo and Elena Kubitzki

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin is the first Korean and first Asian winner of the Warren Spahn Award, which recognizes the best left-handed pitcher in US Major League Baseball (MLB).

The Warren Spahn Award Committee announced Ryu as this year's winner on December 21st. Co-chair Chuck Shirley stated that despite the difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ryu had an outstanding year on the field. Therefore he is worthy of this award.

The award was founded in 1999 and named after Warren Spahn, one of the most successful left-handed pitchers in US professional baseball history. It is based on a player's wins, earned run average (ERA) and strikeouts. Randy Johnson and Clayton Kershaw have each won this award four times.

Ryu was nominated for the award as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers last season, but could not beat Patrick Corbin of the Washington Nationals.
The committee said it would not hold the awards ceremony this year due to COVID-19.

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