Nelson Cruz wins MLB’s Roberto Clemente Award for philanthropy

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HOUSTON – Nelson Cruz has received Major League Baseball’s Roberto Clemente Award for character, community involvement and philanthropy.

Cruz, the 50th winner of the honor, was to receive the award before World Series Game 2 on Wednesday night.

The 17-year-old MLB veteran and seven-time All-Star provided financial support to 1,200 families in his hometown of Las Matas de Santa Cruz, Dominican Republic, during the COVID-19 pandemic and helped feed 700 families.

After a fire destroyed a childhood friend’s home, Cruz provided the town with a fire truck, 80 firefighter uniforms and an ambulance to transport people to the nearest hospital, which is about an hour away.

His Boomstick23 Foundation began construction of a training and technical center last year, and he will provide the center with computers to assist athletes in their training.

Cruz, 41, also organizes dentists and optometrists to go to the city’s clinic for checks, medications and glasses, and 500 patients received dental care last year.

He helped ensure that the MLB, Major League Baseball Players Association and Union Players Trust donated $ 400,000 to the Dominican Republic for medical equipment and food aid during the pandemic.

Cruz was nominated by the Minnesota Twins, who traded him to the Tampa Bay Rays in July.

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