CHICAGO -- Major League Baseball announced the 30 nominees for this year's Roberto Clemente Award, and pitcher Michael Fulmer earned the Tigers' nomination for 2018.
Fulmer, in his third big league year, earned his first nomination for the award, which recognizes a player who best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions on and off the field. One player from each MLB club is nominated, with the winner announced during the 2018 World Series.
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"That's the way you do it everywhere in baseball: You get involved in all kinds of things wherever you're playing," Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's surely done that, and back home [in Oklahoma]. He cares about the communities. He's one of the big faces on this ballclub and that's important to him.
"He's one of those guys who's not afraid to go out in the community and help raise some funds, and start his own stuff too."
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The right-hander focuses his charitable efforts on three areas: children with special needs, families affected by breast cancer and military veterans. Fulmer has worked with the special needs organization "Wings" since high school in Oklahoma, and today serves as a Wings Champion to raise money.
"They have a league where they have a baseball game, we pitch to them and they hit a home run on a little turf field, and that's how we got started," Fulmer said.
Breast cancer is another personal cause for Fulmer, as his wife Kelsey lost her mother to the disease when the two were dating in high school. For the past two seasons, Fulmer served as the Tigers' representative for the American Cancer Society's "Real Men Wear Pink" Metro Detroit campaign, which has raised more than $123,000.
Additionally, in 2017, Fulmer participated in the "Strikeouts for Vets" campaign, which benefited Helmets to Hardhats, a national nonprofit program helping military service members successfully transition back to civilian life. The program raised more than $125,000, and Fulmer regularly helps host local veterans at Comerica Park during batting practice.
Fan taken for treatment after getting hit
A fan was struck in the face by a Jeimer Candelario foul ball during the ninth inning of Detroit's 8-3 victory over the White Sox on Tuesday at Guaranteed Rate Field. The ball was pulled foul down the right-field line and hit a man sitting in the front row.
He was taken to Rush University Medical Center for treatment, per the White Sox, after receiving immediate attention at the field.
"I was trying to get a good look, but I was scared," said Candelario, the Tigers' third baseman. "Hopefully everything is good. I think he was trying to get away from it, and he just moved back and the ball was like a two-seamer, I think. But I know for sure it hit a way big part of his face. Hopefully, he will be good. Nobody wants to get hit, no matter where you're sitting. It's sad."
"That's why those nets are up. We have them in Detroit way down the line, and that's the reason why, so that doesn't happen," Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I know people want foul balls, but this is a very fast game, and they hit the ball very hard. It hit a gentleman; hopefully he's OK. I know it got him pretty good from what they said, and that's the worst feeling in the world when you're sitting in the dugout and see it go in the stands."
Tigers have no concern with Greene as closer
One day after Shane Greene blew a one-run, ninth-inning lead, Gardenhire reiterated his support for Greene as the Tigers' closer saying he has "zero" concern about the right-hander.
Greene served up two homers in the ninth Monday -- a game-tying solo home run to Daniel Palka, and a walk-off, two-run shot to Matt Davidson.
"He's got the spotlight; that's the way it is," Gardenhire said. "He's got to come in and have to make pitches in close games, and it happens sometimes. He's been pretty good for us. He just got two two-seamers that didn't sink.
"They're so used to this stuff. It's never easy for them because they care, but he came in here today and he's ready to go again. And that's the way it's been all summer long for us. That's part of the game, do or die."
• Daniel Norris will make his regularly scheduled start Friday, "unless his calf changes it," Gardenhire said. Norris left Saturday's game against the Yankees in the fifth inning with left calf cramping.