PHILADELPHIA (AP)Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner won Major League Baseball’s Roberto Clemente Award for character, community involvement and philanthropy on Monday.
Turner was presented the award at the World Series shortly before Game 3 was rained out, two years after he was criticized by the commissioner’s office for violating coronavirus protocols by celebrating with teammates following the title-winning Game 6.
”I’ve been fortunate enough to play for, play this game for a while and receive some very nice awards on the field. But this one will be front and center. This is the most meaningful one to me,” Turner said.
The 37-year-old Turner was nominated for the award for the fifth time this year.
”This is one of my favorite days in the baseball calendar, and it is baseball’s highest honor to get the Roberto Clemente Award,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said.
Clemente, the Hall of Fame outfielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates, died 50 years ago, in a plane crash on Dec. 31, 1972, while delivering aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
The Justin Turner Foundation, funded by Turner and wife Kourtney in 2016, supports homeless veterans, children and families battling diseases and illnesses, also helps youth baseball organizations and holds an annual golf tournament that raised $650,000 this year for The Dream Center and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Turner and his wife donated $100,000 to The Dream Center, which supports the homeless and hungry, to fund its foster care intervention program. The center last year renamed its food bank after Turner and his wife.
Turner and his wife donated more than $100,000 for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where he serves on the board of directors, and they provided more than 70,000 toys and 14,000 bicycles to children in Los Angeles. They also visit patients at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital, serving as hosts of its Walk and Play LA event, and at Cedars Sinai Hospital. They sent get-well videos to children around the country and serve as honorary hosts for CHLA’s Walk and Play LA event.
The foundation supports AM 570’s Veterans Day Radio-a-thon that aids the Dream Center’s veterans program.
He served as race starter for this year’s LA Marathon, helping raise more than $70,000, and his foundation helped renovate Transition House, a downtown Los Angeles facility for homeless veterans.
A two-time All-Star, Turner would become eligible for free agency after the World Series if the Dodgers decline a $16 million option in favor of a $2 million buyout.
Turner was pulled from Game 6 two years ago after the seventh inning against Tampa Bay when MLB was notified he tested positive for COVID-19. Turner refused instructions from security to leave the field during the postgame celebration, behavior MLB said risked the safety of others.
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports