MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL, MN – The Minnesota Twins were informed today that Nelson Cruz, in voting from his peers, was selected as the Marvin Miller Man of the Year, part of the 2020 Players Choice Awards. In balloting for the Marvin Miller Award, players are asked to vote for the player they “most respect based on his leadership on the field and in the community.” Cruz joins Paul Molitor (1998) and Torii Hunter (2007) as the only three Twins to win the honor, which was established in 1997.
As the 2020 Marvin Miller Award winner, Cruz will receive a $10,000 grant from the Major League Baseball Players Trust to support his numerous charitable efforts.
Cruz, the winner of the 2020 Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award at the ESPYS in June and the Twins’ nominee for this year’s Roberto Clemente Award, has long worked to better lives in his native Dominican Republic, elsewhere in Latin America and in the communities in which he has played during his 16-year major league career. Nelson and his Boomstick23 Foundation are focused on empowering people in situations of social vulnerability, and using sports and education to help kids reach their potential to become leaders and improve their quality of life. Earlier this year, he led the delivery of a $400,000 donation from Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) and the MLBPA Players Trust Returning Home program to the Dominican Republic, providing medical equipment and helping to battle food insecurity in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
On the field and in the clubhouse, Cruz is regarded as a consummate professional, an ideal teammate and one of the game’s top designated hitters. In his second season with the Twins in 2020, the 40-year-old played in 53 games and hit .303 (56-for-185) with six doubles, 16 home runs, 33 RBI, 33 runs scored, 25 walks, a .397 on-base percentage, a .595 slugging percentage and a .992 OPS (fourth best all-time among players age 39-or-older). Cruz ranked in the American League’s top-10 in several offensive categories, while he joined Atlanta’s Marcell Ozuna as one of two players in baseball with at least 15 home runs, 30 RBI, 25 walks, a .300 batting average and a .990 OPS.
Players Choice Awards voting among all players was conducted in mid-September. Joining Cruz as finalists for the Marvin Miller Award were Chicago Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward and St. Louis Cardinals right-handed pitcher Adam Wainwright.