Meb Keflezighi was a nominee for 2014 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year, but SI announced today that San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner is the 2014 winner.
Keflezighi was recognized for his inspiring victory in the 2014 Boston Marathon, one year after bombings at the finish line shook the sports landscape. He was the first American male to win the Boston Marathon since 1983.
SI’s Tim Layden officially nominated Keflezighi, writing “It was something plucked from fantasy and something that cannot be explained through reason. On the most American of days in running, in the most American of races, an American won the Boston Marathon.”
Bumgarner certainly had credentials of his own, of course. He led the San Francisco Giants to a World Series championship seemingly by himself, pitching 52 innings in the playoffs and allowing just six runs. That included 21 innings and one earned run in a seven-game World Series against the Kansas City Royals.
Runners like Roger Bannister, Jim Ryun and Mary Decker have previously won the award. But the last runner to win it was back in 1987, when Kipchoge Keino and Judi Brown King were honored for their humanitarian efforts.