Before the Indians and Cubs took the field last night for Game 3 of the World Series, Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson received a standing ovation as he stepped onto the grass at Wrigley Field to receive the 2016 Roberto Clemente Award in recognition of his charitable work.
The award, given each year to the player who “best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field,” has been given out each year since 1971. Recent recipients include Andrew McCutchen, Jimmy Rollins, Paul Konerko, Carlos Beltran, and Clayton Kershaw.
Granderson, who grew up in the Chicago suburbs, has been active in philanthropy throughout his baseball career. In 2007 he established the Grand Kids Foundation, an organization that runs baseball camps and clinics for kids from low-income families in urban areas. He also authored a children’s book in 2009, entitled All You Can Be, the proceeds for which benefit the Grand Kids Foundation.
In accepting the award, Granderson paid tribute to Clemente, saying, “To be mentioned in the same breath with Clemente, even for a little bit of time, is really cool and an honor.”
Granderson is the fourth player to ever win the award as a Met, joining Gary Carter, Al Leiter, and Carlos Delgado.