CLEVELAND, Ohio – Cleveland Indians starting pitcher and UC Santa Barbara alum Shane Bieber was named the Most Valuable Player of the MLB All-Star Game after striking out the side in the fifth inning of the American League's 4-3 victory over the National League at Progressive Field on Tuesday night.
Bieber, who led UCSB to the College World Series in 2016, struck out Cubs catcher Willson Contreras looking with a 95-mph fastball, got Diamondbacks infielder Ketel Marte on an 84-mph curveball and sent the hometown crowd of 36,747 into a frenzy after striking out Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr with a slider.
"I really didn't know what to think," Bieber said of winning MVP. "Kinda lost all feeling in my body. But it's an incredible feeling now. Now that it's kind of sinking in, just to be able to do it in front of the hometown crowd in my first All-Star Game is definitely not something I expected."
Making his first all-star appearance after being named as an injury replacement on Friday, Bieber becomes the third player in All-Star Game history to win MVP in his home ballpark joining Pedro Martinez at Fenway Park in 1999, and Sandy Alomar Jr. in Cleveland in 1997. He also becomes the second Gaucho to earn All-Star Game MVP honors after Michael Young did so in 2006 with the Texas Rangers.