Minnesota Twins designated hitter Nelson Cruz took home the Muhammad Ali Award at the ESPY awards on Sunday night.
The Minnesota Twins were expected to take home a lot of hardware in 2020, but the first award the team earned was brought home by the team’s designated hitter, Nelson Cruz, at the ESPY awards on Sunday Night.
The ESPY awards are ESPN’s annual celebration of athletes and teams that exemplify the best things about sports, and there are awards that honor greatness both on and off the field such as best humanitarian team, Arthur Ashe courage award, and more.
In Las Matas de Santa Cruz, Nelson built a police station, purchased a fire truck, while also hoping to build education and wellness centers in the community. He has helped so many people both there and in the United States, so it’s fantastic for him to be getting recognized.
Cruz won the award over Jason and Devin McCourty of the New England Patriots, WWE wrestler Titus O’Neil, and two athletes with Minnesota connections: former Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love and current Minnesota Lynx star Maya Moore (on the WNBA reserve list).
Cruz was brought to tears while accepting the award:
Nelson Cruz (@ncboomstick23) got emotional accepting the Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award.
— ESPN (@espn) June 22, 2020
The Minnesota Twins reached out to show their support for Cruz as well:
We could not be prouder of @ncboomstick23 for his work on and off the field. Congratulations to the 2020 Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award recipient, Nelson Cruz! #ESPYS pic.twitter.com/s2WdkYBA6Q
— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) June 22, 2020
This award comes on the heels of the news that the MLB season still hangs in the balance after the most recent talks were “productive” but didn’t result in a deal. This positive news hopefully will carry over into more positive news about a return later this week.