Cardinals slugger honoured for his work in the community.
St. Louis Cardinals slugger Carlos Beltran has a lot more in common with his countryman Roberto Clemente than the fact they both come from Puerto Rico.
Like the deceased Clemente, Beltran has tried to give back to the Puerto Rican community, which is why he was honoured Saturday as the winner of the Roberto Clemente Award which is presented annually to the Major League Baseball player who combines outstanding playing ability with community service.
“I am very honoured and blessed to receive this award,” Beltran said prior to game three of the World Series on Saturday at Busch Stadium.
“I never got a chance to watch Roberto play, but I have seen a lot of film of him. When I was a kid I always wanted to be like him.”
Clemente was killed in a plane crash on December 31, 1972, while helping transport relief supplies to Nicaragua after an earthquake on December 23 that killed more than 6,000 people.
Beltran and his wife, Jessica, founded the Carlos Beltran Foundation in Puerto Rico, which provides a learning experience where young people can develop and enhance both athletically and academically.
“Not everyone chooses to give back but I take a lot of pride in doing that,” Beltran said. “I do it because I know it opens a lot of doors.
“I come from a humble family and we had to fight to get where we are now.
“As a country we are going through tough times. I decided to help other families like mine.”