Cleveland Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco has been named recipient of the 2019 Roberto Clemente Award, MLB announced Friday. The Roberto Clemente Award is given annually 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."
"Winning the Roberto Clemente Award is one of the most prestigious honors," Carrasco said in a statement. "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."
"We are proud to welcome Carlos Carrasco to the prestigious fraternity of Roberto Clemente Award winners," commissioner Rob Manfred said. "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."
Among their many charitable endeavors Carrasco and his wife, Karry, provide box lunches for the homeless from the front porch of their home in Florida every other Sunday in the offseason. They also fund a scholarship for single mothers and have donated money for clothes, food, medicine, and school supplies to the underprivileged in the United States, Colombia, Venezuela, and Africa.
"My family and I are proud to join Major League Baseball in bestowing this year's Roberto Clemente Award to Carlos, who has consistently represented Roberto's humanitarian legacy over the course of his wonderful career," Vera Clemente, Roberto's widow, said in a statement. "Despite facing his own personal challenges, Carlos has remained committed to improving the lives of others."
Earlier this year Carrasco was diagnosed with a form of blood cancer called chronic myeloid leukemia that sidelined him for much of the season. He returned to the team as a reliever after rosters expanded in September.