Mets' Curtis Granderson wins 2016 Roberto Clemente Award
The award goes to the player who best represents MLB with positive off-field contributions
CHICAGO -- Major League Baseball annually hands out the Roberto Clemente Award to a player "who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement."
How did Granderson win this one? Let's listen to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred:
The Grand Kids Foundation does unbelievable work: Gives baseball clinics, provides playing opportunities to kids that otherwise wouldn't have those opportunities, and runs great programs devoted to character development.
Curtis has also partnered with some of the greatest members of the baseball family, through his foundation he's been a supporter of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, an organization that's near and dear to the hearts of everyone in baseball.
He also made a $5 million donation to our MLB academy here in Chicago. This is the single biggest donation that's ever been made by a Major League player in support of this program, and Curtis deserves tremendous credit for that donation.
Finally, Curtis has been instrumental in the building of a stadium at his alma mater, the University of Illinois at Chicago that, I guess not coincidentally, is named Curtis Granderson Stadium.
About half of that stuff would've made Granderson deserving of this honor. It's an amazing resume of charitable efforts.
"What Roberto Clemente stood for, his family is living proof of what it was to not only be a professional athlete, but professional human being," Granderson said. "The importance of knowing that his community is what made him who he was, and the reason why he was able to be where he was, and he never forgot that, whether his community was in Pittsburgh, where he played, or his hometown where he was able to go back to in the off-season, or during the season to help out at any time no matter what was going on.
"Those are the things I strive to do, and learned from my parents as well, just like the Clementes did with their family and everybody in their generation that have taught them the importance of collectively we all become who we want to be."
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