A favorite both on the field and in the clubhouse, Nelson Cruz has been named a finalist for the 2020 Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award.

The Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award is given to an athlete whose tremendous leadership created a measured positive impact on their community through sports.

According to TwinsBaseball.com, this is the first nomination for Nelson Cruz for this award, but he was awarded 2019 Carl R. Pohlad Award for Twins Outstanding Community Service.

The nomination for the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award was earned both for his work in Minnesota and for his efforts in the Dominican Republic.

His overall accomplishments include:

  • Assisting his hometown of Las Matas De Santa Cruz by donating a fire engine and an ambulance to treat and transport people to the hospital, which is nearly one hour away. He also built a new police station and donated a motorcycle for the city’s police officers, who previously had to walk.
  • Annually bringing dentists and optometrists, along with donated equipment and medicine, to his hometown clinic, providing checkups, medicine and eyewear. His health event enabled more than 1,200 people to be evaluated and treated by volunteer doctors.
  • Purchasing wheelchairs, crutches, walkers and canes for elderly and disabled residents of his hometown.
  • Leading his Boomstick23 Foundation in establishing a new education and technical center to help the youth of Las Matas De Santa Cruz advance their employability by learning different trades such as carpentry/electrical, and how to better use farmland to produce crops.
  • Beginning the Healing Venezuela initiative, which helps 2,000 Venezuelan newborns annually receive life-sustaining nourishment during their first year (a 400% increase since Cruz’s involvement).
  • Raising funds through the Big League Impact ALL WIN campaign in 2019, impacting the Education Center in the Monte Cristi province, Dominican Republic.
  • Engaging with Twin Cities area youth, including hosting a vitilla clinic with Twins RBI All-Stars in 2019.

If Cruz wins the award, the will be able to direct a $100,000 grant from ESPN to the qualified charity related to his award-winning humanitarian efforts.  As a finalist, he is now able to direct a $25,000 grant to that charity, which is the Boomstick23 Foundation.

The Boomstick23 Foundation lists its primary goal as "Making a difference in children’s lives through sport and education".

The Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award will be given out during the 2020 ESPYS Presented by Capitol One on June 21.  The show is televised on ABC.

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