Nelson Cruz is the epitome of class. From hitting home runs, worthy of his nickname “Boomstick”, to his philanthropic efforts, Cruz stands for what is right in the world. So when he was announced as the recipient of the ESPY’s Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award on Sunday night, it was well deserved… and his reaction had everyone who was watching, in tears.
Growing up in poverty-stricken Las Matas de Santa Cruz in the Dominican Republic, a young Cruz put his energy into baseball. At that point he was just hoping to make a name for himself. He accomplished that and then some. His Hall of Fame-worthy career of over 400 home runs and 1,100 RBI have made him a household name.
However, he never forgot his roots. He routinely goes back to his hometown to give back. Whether it is building new facilities for first responders or bringing doctors and medicine to aid the those in need, he gives back. There are countless other examples beyond those.
Above all, this award isn’t given to just anyone either. It is given to an athlete whose continuous leadership creates a positive impact on their community through sports. Cruz embodies all of that and then some.
We could not be prouder of @ncboomstick23 for his work on and off the field. Congratulations to the 2020 Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award recipient, Nelson Cruz! #ESPYS pic.twitter.com/s2WdkYBA6Q— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) June 22, 2020
Other nominees included Kevin Love and Maya Moore. While they were absolutely worthy, Cruz has been a consistent force of selflessness, wherever he goes.
Cruz has never stopped trying to make the world a better place. For that, Twins fans, sports fans, and the world thank him from the bottom of our hearts. We hope to get to see a little more baseball magic out of you soon.
Never change, Boomstick.
Jack Kewitsch | Minnesota Sports Fan