Twins designated hitter Nelson Cruz is the team's nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award.

Cruz, 40, is among MLB leaders in home runs (first, with 13), OPS (second at 1.087), batting average (second at .326), slugging pct. (third at .667) and RBI (seventh with 29).

The Clemente Award goes to the player who "best represents the game of Baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field."

Cruz was the winner of the 2020 Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award and was the Star Tribune's Sport Person of the year for 2019. A six-time All-Star, he also won the team's Pohlad Award for Twins Outstanding Community Service for his work in Minnesota and his native Dominican Republic.

Clemente was a Pittsburgh Pirates superstar and Hall of Famer who died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.

Cleveland relief pitcher Brad Hand, who is from Chaska, and Arizona infielder Eduardo Escobar, a former Twin, are also nominated.

Clemente Award nominees: Arizona Diamondbacks – Eduardo Escobar; Atlanta Braves – Freddie Freeman; Baltimore Orioles – Hanser Alberto; Boston Red Sox – Mitch Moreland; Chicago Cubs – Jason Heyward; Chicago White Sox – Tim Anderson; Cincinnati Reds – Tucker Barnhart; Cleveland Indians – Brad Hand; Colorado Rockies – Ian Desmond; Detroit Tigers – Miguel Cabrera; Houston Astros – Alex Bregman; Kansas City Royals – Ian Kennedy; Los Angeles Angels – Mike Trout; Los Angeles Dodgers – Justin Turner; Miami Marlins – Miguel Rojas; Milwaukee Brewers – Brent Suter; Minnesota Twins – Nelson Cruz; New York Mets – Steven Matz; New York Yankees – Giancarlo Stanton; Oakland Athletics – Tony Kemp; Philadelphia Phillies – Aaron Nola; Pittsburgh Pirates – Josh Bell; San Diego Padres – Drew Pomeranz; San Francisco Giants – Hunter Pence; Seattle Mariners – Dee Strange-Gordon; St. Louis Cardinals – Adam Wainwright; Tampa Bay Rays – Charlie Morton; Texas Rangers – Shin-Soo Choo; Toronto Blue Jays – Danny Jansen; Washington Nationals – Sean Doolittle


Nelson Cruz portrait by Jeff Wheeler • jeff.wheeler@startribune.com

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