Ziegler, Carew earn Bob Feller Act of Valor honors

October 5th, 2016
Red Sox reliever Brad Ziegler and Hall of Famer Rod Carew earned the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award for their contributions to and support of the US military. (AP)

Boston Red Sox reliever and former Minnesota Twins and California Angels great Rod Carew are the 2016 Bob Feller Act of Valor Award honorees, the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award Foundation announced Wednesday.

The annual award recognizes one current Major League Baseball player and one Hall of Famer each year who possess the "values, integrity and dedication" Bob Feller displayed serving the United States of America.

Feller, widely considered one of the greatest pitchers of all time, enlisted in the navy days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. He earned the rank of Chief Petty Officer while serving on missions in the Pacific and North Atlantic. He famously said the most important victory he ever won was World War II.

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Ziegler founded the Pastime for Patriots Foundation (PFP) in 2010 to support members of the US military and their families. The organization has donated nearly 40,000 sporting event tickets to service members and their families. PFP has also donated thousands of dollars in collaboration with the Freedom Alliance Scholarship Fund to assist high school students who lost a parent serving in the military.

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"I'm just grateful to be in a position to help out our troops and the families of our military, because they sacrifice so much for us every single day," Ziegler said.

Carew, an 18-time All-Star with a .328 lifetime batting average, served in the US Marine Corps reserve throughout his career on the diamond. He was inducted into the US Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.

Carew, the American Heart Association and the Twins founded the Heart of 29 after he suffered a heart attack last fall. Heart of 29 encourages people to get their hearts checked with regularity and helps raise awareness for heart health.

"It is truly inspiring to watch these players within Major League Baseball honor our US Military and those who serve proudly today," said Peter Fertig, creator of the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award. "Bob Feller led his generation onto the field of battle and away from the baseball diamond for a more significant reason. The legacy of Bob Feller and the greatest generation are embodied throughout these players and their respective clubs for honoring those who serve this great nation, and for this we are forever grateful."