- - Thursday, October 4, 2012

Washington Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez has been named the 2012 Warren Spahn Award winner, the award’s board of directors announced Thursday.

The Spahn Award is given annually to the best left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball based on their wins, strikeouts and ERA by the Bricktown Rotary Club of Oklahoma City and the Jim Thorpe Association. The award is named after Oklahoman and Hall of Famer Warren Spahn, who holds the MLB record in wins (363) for a left-handed starter and is sponsored by Farmers Insurance.

Gonzalez, a two-time All-Star, had 21 wins, a 2.89 ERA and 207 strikeouts this season in leading Washington to its first MLB division title since 1933.

“I’m honored to even be mentioned in the same breath as Warren Spahn and the past winners of this award. I truly am humbled by this recognition,” Gonzalez said.

Greg Spahn, son of the late Warren Spahn and a member of the award’s board of directors, says Gonzalez represents the award well.

“Gio had a great season and is an outstanding player. Gio’s talent on the field and his work off the field to give scholarships to young people through his foundation are tremendous attributes. My dad would have been proud that Gio has won this award.”

The Nationals’ lefty tied for the award with Tampa Bay Rays’ David Price, but received the nod because he had one more win.