St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran on Saturday was named the winner of the Roberto Clemente Award.
The award was presented before Game 3 of the World Series between the Cardinals and Boston Red Sox
"I feel very blessed to win this award," said Beltran, 36. "When I was a kid I always wanted to be like (Clemente)."
Beltran received the award from Commissioner Bud Selig, who noted Beltran's work to create the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy in his native Puerto Rico. Vera Clemente, Roberto's widow, sat next to Beltran during the announcement.
"I truly believe that Roberto Clemente would be enormously proud of you and everything you're doing not only for the community of St. Louis, but your home country of Puerto Rico," Selig said.
Beltran said the award was the greatest he's received in baseball because of its connection to Clemente, known for his charitable works. He was killed in a plane crash on New Year's Eve 1972 while delivering supplies to victims of an earthquake in Nicaragua.
The award is decided by a vote of baseball fans and media members, who choose from among a nominee from each major-league club.
Beltran received the award at home plate before the game, to a standing ovation from his Cardinals teammates in the Busch Stadium dugout. Boston players, including David Ortiz and other members of the Red Sox's starting lineup, joined in the applause as they stood down the left field line.