Skip to main content

Watch: Nelson Cruz's emotional reaction to winning humanitarian award from ESPN

Cruz found out he'd won the award through a Zoom meeting.

It was a powerful night for Twins slugger Nelson Cruz, who won the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award ESPY for the charitable work he does in the Dominican Republic. 

Cruz, who led the Twins with 41 homers last season, was brought to tears when he found out via a Zoom meeting that he'd won the award over five other deserving athletes, including Maya Moore of the Minnesota Lynx and ex-Timberwolves star Kevin Love. 

"That will definitely help a lot of people," said Cruz, with tears in his eyes. "So, from the bottom of my heart, my family, my foundation, and my hometown, thank you." 

Cruz grew up in Las Matas de Santa Cruz, a city on the northwest side of the island nation, where living with running water, paved roads and consistent electricity isn't common. 

After a friend's home burned down because the city didn't have a fire truck, Cruz found a way to donate a fire engine, in addition to an ambulance, vehicles for local police, a new medical facility and a police station. He also helped provide the city with wheelchairs, crutches and other mobility devices for the city's elderly. 

Minneapolis native wins perseverance award

Another Minnesota athlete received the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance. Taquarius Wair was given a 20% chance to survive after suffering third-degree burns to more than half of his body when his family's home caught fire on Mar. 22, 2005. Wair lost three fingers on his left hand.

You can read more about his incredible story here.  

Next Up

holy angels high school j nelson

Update: Holy Angels evacuated over bomb threat, school says

Someone left a voicemail early Tuesday suggesting there was an explosive device.

radio station, microphone

Convicted stalker charged with harassment of another DJ at The Current

He pleaded guilty to similar charges involving the DJ's colleague back in 2015.

Mall of America exterior Tyler Vigen Wikimedia COmmons

10 new shops, food stops at Mall of America

Donuts, K-fashion, model cars — the new tenants cover a lot of bases.

Gophers basketball

Gophers fall below roster minimum, postpone Penn State game

It is "due to internal COVID-19 protocols within the Golden Gopher program."

Raheem Morris

Report: Vikings request interview with Rams' Raheem Morris

Morris was once the youngest head coach in the NFL at 33 years old.

train crossing S Boardman Ave, New York Mills, Minnesota - August 2013 crop GSV

Sheriff: Drunk driver crashed trying to 'beat the train'

The BNSF train slammed into the side of the driver's car.

ambulance

Man run over after parking dispute leads to road rage crash

The two groups fought about parking prior to the crash.

hwy 41 engler boulevard crash crop

Deadly crash shuts down small stretch of Chaska highway for hours

A driver crossed over the center median and hit another vehicle.

covid test 6

You can now order 4 free at-home COVID tests from the government

Tests will ship for free within 7-12 days, according to the White House.

covid-19

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, January 18

Minnesota has reached 11,000 COVID-19 deaths.

1114_LA-116

Vikings must continue building out receiving corps in 2022

Justin Jefferson headlines a young, promising group, but more depth is still needed

Related

Nelson Cruz

Twins 'remain hopeful' that Nelson Cruz will re-sign next season

Cruz will turn 41 years old midway through the 2021 season.

Nelson Cruz

Nelson Cruz placed on injured list with wrist strain

It's the second time Cruz has missed time because of the injury.

Twins sign free-agent power hitter Nelson Cruz

Cruz has launched at least 37 homers in five straight seasons.

Nelson Cruz

Nelson Cruz avoids surgery, will be back with Twins ASAP

He ruptured a tendon in his left wrist last week.

Taquarius Waire

Minnesotan to receive award for perseverance at The ESPYS

The young man is thriving after being given a 20% chance to live.

Nelson Cruz

It's time to include Nelson Cruz in the AL MVP conversation

Mike Trout is the runaway favorite, but Cruz deserves to be talked about.

Nelson Cruz

Twins activate Nelson Cruz from injured list

The big man will bat third for Minnesota Monday night.