Why He’s Interesting: Bieber is in the middle of his own Cinderella story. He went from a University of California, Santa Barbara walk-on role to the Indians fourth-round draft pick in 2016, but his most recent claim to fame came when he snatched MVP at the 2019 All-Star Game in Cleveland. Now, Bieber, who admits “playing with a little chip on your shoulder never hurts,” is focused on writing the next chapter of his story: bringing a World Series trophy to Northeast Ohio.
All-Star Moment: A late addition to the American League roster, the Indians starter struck out the side in the fifth inning, earning him the All-Star Game’s Ted Williams MVP Award — and a thunderous home-crowd ovation. “I’ve never experienced something like that in the dugout much less me being the one whose name they’re actually chanting.”
So Euro: Kevin Love’s North American summer got all the attention, but Bieber’s European vacation with girlfriend Kara Kavajecz in Budapest, Prague and Italy has our envy. “We went up the Amalfi Coast to meet up with [Indians outfielder] Jordan Luplow and his girlfriend. I wasn’t expecting a lot from Budapest, but that ended up being a sleeper for my favorite place on the trip.”
Cali Kid: During the off-season, Bieber returns home to Orange, California, and trains in Santa Barbara. Although the right-hander with a wicked slider and a 95-mph fastball is focused on upping his pitching velocity, he’s also hitting the beach often. “I try to get to the water as much as I can, take some cool pictures and cook some food over a campfire.”
Left Of The Cuyahoga: Although he pitched for the Lake County Captains in 2017, Bieber lives in Westlake during the season. Catch him eating steaks at the Cabin Club or playing golf at nearby clubs. “I absolutely love Cleveland. That special connection I feel makes me want to bring the city a championship so much more.”
He’s A Belieber: After Topps mislabeled him as Justin Bieber on his own playing card, the pop star was seen wearing a “Not Shane” Indians jersey. “A bunch of Beliebers are following me now, asking me to get them closer to Justin. I haven’t met him yet, but he’s definitely got a handful of really strong fans.”
Bieber is only the third player ever to take home the All-Star MVP trophy in front of a home crowd. The first was Cleveland Indians catcher Sandy Alomar Jr. in 1997.