Eric Núñez (Associated Press) reports that Puerto Rican baseball player Carlos Beltran, of the St. Louis Cardinals, is the winner of the Roberto Clemente Award for this year, for his contributions on and off the diamond.
Beltran sat on Saturday along with Clemente’s widow, Vera, during the ceremony in which the award was given about an hour before the third World Series game against the Boston Red Sox. Also attending the ceremony and press conference were several Clemente family members. Vera Clemente declared, “Carlos, you are the pride of all Puerto Ricans.”
The award recognizes players whose contributions on and off the field best represent the spirit of Major League Baseball. The award is named after the legendary Puerto Rican baseball player of the Pittsburgh Pirates, a Hall of Famer who died on December 31, 1972, in an airplane crash, while taking humanitarian aid to victims of an earthquake in Nicaragua.
In Beltran’s case, he was awarded the prize for creating a charitable foundation, which has established an academy where young Puerto Ricans can train while receiving a high school education. “For me, the biggest motivation is the need,” said Beltran. “This school will last for many years.”
The pitcher for the Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw, was honored last year and Dominican player David Ortiz, of the Red Sox, received the award in 2011.