WASHINGTON, D.C. – Cleveland Indians veteran pitcher Carlos Carrasco has been named recipient of the 2019 Roberto Clemente Award, the most prestigious individual player honor awarded by Major League Baseball. Carrasco is the first Indians player to win the Roberto Clemente Award since Hall of Famer Jim Thome received the honor in 2002, the third player in Indians franchise history since the Award was created in 1971 (Andre Thornton – 1979), and the first recipient born in Venezuela. Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. will officially present Carrasco with the Roberto Clemente Award prior to Game Three of the 115th World Series presented by YouTube TV at Nationals Park.
Following is an excerpt from Carrasco’s official Roberto Clemente Award nomination bio:
“Every other Sunday in the offseason, Carlos and his wife, Karry, shop, cook, box, and distribute 500 lunches to the homeless from the front porch of their home in Tampa, Florida.
“The couple donates two scholarships of $10,000 annually for single moms to attend school, and Carlos sends $5,000 to United States veterans each year.
“Carlos frequents Cleveland Stepstone Academy’s ’Carlos Carrasco Major League Reading Corner’, where he reads to students and discusses the importance of childhood literacy. Recently, Carlos read ‘If You Give A Mouse A Cookie’ and decorated cookies with second graders.
“Carlos traveled to Africa in November, distributing shoes, shirts and backpacks to underprivileged children. He spoke to kids through a translator about the importance of attending school. While visiting the African villages, he donated more than $70,000 to families in need.
“In May, he donated $300,000 to Casa Venezuela Cucuta in Colombia and sent boxes of food, medicine and medical supplies.
“While serving others across the world over the past year, the bulk of his efforts have been in Venezuela. Carlos donated $25,000 of toys to kids in Valencia for Christmas. He sent 100 boxes of protein, medicine and diapers to a nursing home in Carora and another in Maracaibo. He purchases two containers of medical supplies ($33,000 per container) annually to be sent to Venezuela. He donates $400 per day and $200 per month to cover the cost of a refugee camp at the Colombian/Venezuelan border, where his extended family distributes meals daily.”
“We are proud to welcome Carlos Carrasco to the prestigious fraternity of Roberto Clemente Award winners,” said Commissioner Manfred. “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.”
Carrasco said: “Winning the Roberto Clemente Award is one of the most prestigious honors. 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.”
Vera Clemente said: “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. Despite facing his own personal challenges, Carlos has remained committed to improving the lives of others.”
Carrasco was selected from a list of 30 Club nominees by a distinguished panel that included Commissioner Manfred, Vera Clemente, representatives from MLB-affiliated networks (MLB Network, FOX Sports, ESPN and TBS), MLB.com, and more. Additionally, fans were given the chance to vote via MLB.com/Clemente21. Each September since 2002, Major League Baseball has commemorated Roberto Clemente Day to recognize all 30 Roberto Clemente Award nominees and to honor the Hall of Famer’s indelible legacy.
The Roberto Clemente Award is the annual recognition of a Major League player who best represents the game of Baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field. The concept of honoring Major League players for their philanthropic work was created in 1971 as the “Commissioner’s Award,” but was renamed the “Roberto Clemente Award” in 1973 in honor of the Hall of Famer and 15-time All-Star who died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.