MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Nelson Cruz is the Minnesota Twins’ nominee for the 2020 Roberto Clemente Award, the most prestigious individual award for major league players.
Each year, the award recognizes a player for extraordinary character, philanthropy, and community involvement on and off the field.
“Nelson Cruz is a consummate professional, an ideal teammate, a terrific baseball player and an even better person,” said Twins President and CEO Dave St. Peter, in a statement. “For years, he has selflessly and tirelessly worked to help those most in need – people in his hometown, in his home country and in those major league communities that have been so fortunate as to have Nelson Cruz’s influence. We are beyond proud to have Nellie with us in Twins Territory, and we thank him and his Boomstick23 Foundation for their continued efforts.”
Cruz is one of 30 players across the major league nominated for the award. The designated hitter with 414 career home runs is often recognized for this work to better the lives of those in his native Dominican Republic, and other Latin American countries.
Roberto Clemente Day falls on Sept. 9, when teams across the league will display a special logo on bases and the official dugout. The award’s namesake was a 15-time All-Star and Hall of Famer who died while flying supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
Since the Twins don’t play on Sept. 9, they’ll honor Roberto Clemente Day on Sept. 11, during a home game against the Cleveland Indians.
The winner of the award will be selected with a blue ribbon panel including Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred Jr. and Clemente’s children. Fans can also vote for nominees until Sept. 27. The winner of the fan vote will count among the votes cast by the panel.