Cleveland Indians closer Brad Hand, a native of Chaska, was named Cleveland’s 2020 nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, baseball’s most prestigious individual honor for Major Leaguers.
The Roberto Clemente Award is the annual recognition of a Major League player who best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.
Brad and his wife, Morgan, have made Northeast Ohio a better place with the work they have done in the community over the last year. Brad immediately got involved in the community when he arrived in Cleveland from San Diego.
In 2019, Brad developed the Helping Hand’s program, bringing kids from the Northeast Ohio Boys & Girls Programs to Progressive Field for a surprise visit during batting practice.
In 2020, Helping Hands has gone virtual, surprising those in recovery at Ohio Guidestone’s Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation program with gift cards and a meet and greet. Additionally in 2020, Hand hosted a drive-in, Indians game watch party at Ohio Guidestone for rehab residents, providing them Tribe gear for their sober outing.
This summer, Brad and Morgan donated $3,500 worth of baseball equipment to local youth teams and met virtually with youth from a local rec center. The Hand family continues to engage with youth from Ohio Guidestone, making a $1,500 donation of school supplies to Stepstone Academy in advance of the 2020-21 school year and meeting virtually with three Stepstone Academy families during the season.
In the past year, Brad and Morgan have involved their kids in community work as well, having them do the gift shopping for an adopted family over the holidays through Cleveland’s Salvation Army. Their daughter Lila made bracelets during the COVID-19 pandemic and sent them to Cleveland area nursing homes.
"It’s a great award, and I’m honored to be our nominee this year for the Cleveland Indians," said Hand. "The award itself means you’re being a good teammate, a good person, trying to give back in the community in whatever way you can be. Obviously, with two young kids, I just want to show them how to be giving and it’s something we want to instill in them to help out in the community."
Fans can vote for the Roberto Clemente Award via mlb.com/clemente21 until the end of the season on Sunday, Sept. 27.