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Madison Bumgarner is Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year

Madison Bumgarner

SAN DIEGO -- Maybe it just shows my age that I still think SI’s Sportsman of the Year Award means something. It certainly felt important once, back when Sports Illustrated was the gold standard of sports media. It’s not that anymore -- media is so fragmented now -- but it still feels like a big deal to this 41-year-old scribe.

And it means more to me when a baseball player wins it too, likely as some weird defensive feeling about baseball and its standing in the world. It’s like how you feel when they mention your hometown on the local news, maybe.

Anyway, Madison Bumgarner -- hero of the World Series -- is this year’s Sportsman of the Year. And the cover featuring him is pretty spiffy:

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Man, they really need to mow the grass at AT&T Park.