CLEVELAND, Ohio — Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco was named the recipient of the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award.
Carrasco was recognized for his “exemplary humanitarian efforts on three continents.”
The veteran pitcher is the first Indians player to win the award since Hall of Famer Jim Thome won the honor in 2002.
“Winning the Roberto Clemente Award is one of the most prestigious honors. This is something that I have dreamed of, and I am very excited to share this honor with the Cleveland Indians and my home country of Venezuela. I hope to continue giving back to others and inspire more players to help in the community,” Carrasco said in a news release.
Carrasco was officially presented with the award before Friday night’s Game 3 of the World Series on FOX 8.
The MLB released an excerpt from Carrasco’s official Roberto Clemente Award nomination bio:
“Every other Sunday in the offseason, Carlos and his wife, Karry, shop, cook, box, and distribute 500 lunches to the homeless from the front porch of their home in Tampa, Florida.
“The couple donates two scholarships of $10,000 annually for single moms to attend school, and Carlos sends $5,000 to United States veterans each year.
“Carlos frequents Cleveland Stepstone Academy’s ’Carlos Carrasco Major League Reading Corner’, where he reads to students and discusses the importance of childhood literacy. Recently, Carlos read ‘If You Give A Mouse A Cookie’ and decorated cookies with second graders.
“Carlos traveled to Africa in November, distributing shoes, shirts and backpacks to underprivileged children. He spoke to kids through a translator about the importance of attending school. While visiting the African villages, he donated more than $70,000 to families in need.
“In May, he donated $300,000 to Casa Venezuela Cucuta in Colombia and sent boxes of food, medicine and medical supplies.
“While serving others across the world over the past year, the bulk of his efforts have been in Venezuela. Carlos donated $25,000 of toys to kids in Valencia for Christmas. He sent 100 boxes of protein, medicine and diapers to a nursing home in Carora and another in Maracaibo. He purchases two containers of medical supplies ($33,000 per container) annually to be sent to Venezuela. He donates $400 per day and $200 per month to cover the cost of a refugee camp at the Colombian/Venezuelan border, where his extended family distributes meals daily.”
“We are proud to welcome Carlos Carrasco to the prestigious fraternity of Roberto Clemente Award winners,” Commissioner Manfred said in a news release. “The Roberto Clemente Award is the most important individual player award due to the genuine impact that Major League Players have on those who are most in need. Carlos, through his global philanthropic efforts, is an excellent example of someone who selflessly acts on behalf of the less fortunate and embodies the spirit of our game’s most celebrated humanitarian.”
The MLB said the Roberto Clemente Award is the annual recognition of a Major League player “who best represents the game of Baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.”
Carrasco has been bravely battling leukemia for several months. He has helped raise thousands of dollars for St. Jude.