It’s officially awards season in the MLB, and one Minnesota Twins player is already bringing home the hardware: Nelson Cruz.
Minnesota Twins player Nelson Cruz was awarded the 2020 Marvin Miller Man of the Year by the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA). The award, named for the former first executive director of the MLBPA, is given to the player who his peers believe is the most respected for his leadership on the field and in the community.
Cruz was cited for the humanitarian work he has done for his home country, the Dominican Republic. Through his Boomstick23 Foundation, Cruz has provided aid and relief to the people of his country. Cruz beat out Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright and Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward to win the award.
An example of his work includes his delivery of a $400,000 donation from Major League Baseball, the MLBPA, and the MLBPA Players Trust Returning Home program to the Dominican Republic. The funds were used for medical supplies and food in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis.
In addition, he helped build a police station in his hometown of Las Matos De Santa Cruz and he also donated a fire truck and ambulance to the city. His foundation is focused on empowering people in situations of social vulnerability, and using sports and education to help kids reach their potential to become leaders and improve their quality of life. Cruz also has several charitable endeavors in the United States.
Cruz becomes the third Minnesota Twin to win the Miller Award. Previous winners of the award, which was established in 1997, were Paul Molitor in 1998 and Tori Hunter in in 2007. For winning the award, Cruz will receive a $10,000 grant from the MLBPA to support his many charitable activities.
Cruz was previously awarded the 2020 Muhammed Ali Award at the ESPY’s for his charitable work in the Dominican Republic, elsewhere in Latin America and the communities he has played in. This award is presented to people who are making significant contributions toward securing peace, social justice, human rights, and/or social capital in their communities and on a global basis.
Cruz is also a final nominee for the 2020 Roberto Clemente Award, which is given to the player who best represents the sport of baseball on and off the field.
In receiving these awards, the world now knows what the fans of the Minnesota Twins have known all along. That Nelson Cruz is a remarkable and compassionate individual on the field, in the clubhouse and in communities throughout the world.