Swisher named finalist for Feller Valor Award

CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Indians first baseman Nick Swisher has been named one of 11 finalists for the 2014 Bob Feller Act of Valor Award, the Bob Feller Act of Valor Foundation announced on Wednesday.

Swisher was named a finalist because of his trips with the USO to forward-operating bases in Afghanistan, in addition to his active involvement with the Wounded Warrior Project and Operation Homefront. Swisher and his wife, Joanna, spent Thanksgiving with military personnel in Afghanistan in 2011.

"The Indians remain extremely grateful for Bob's contribution to our organization and this country, and are proud to share in the creation of this award, which focuses on three things Bob held most dear: the Cleveland Indians, the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and the United States Navy," Bob DiBiasio, the Indians' senior vice president of public affairs, said in a press release.

"We look forward to honoring these nominees for their display of high character and dedication to servicemen and women."

In addition to Swisher, first baseman Adam LaRoche (Washington Nationals), catcher/first baseman Jonathan Lucroy (Milwaukee Brewers), pitcher Charlie Morton (Pittsburgh Pirates), second baseman Dustin Pedroia (Boston Red Sox), and pitcher Brad Ziegler (Arizona Diamondbacks) are current players nominated for this year's award.

They join Hall of Famers Johnny Bench (Cincinnati Reds), Tommy Lasorda (Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers), Monte Irvin (Newark Eagles/New York Giants, Whitey Ford (New York Yankees) and Willie Mays (New York/San Francisco Giants) as finalists for the award.

The finalists will be recognized by Feller's widow, Anne, as well as representatives from the United States Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard, and the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award Foundation prior to Friday's Independence Day Indians game against the Kansas City Royals.

Then, on Saturday night, Quilts of Honor East, the east coast chapter of Quilts of Honor America, LLC, will present Swisher, and Kansas City's Billy Butler, with quilts in recognition of their thanks and remembrance for supporting those who serve the country.

The Bob Feller Act of Valor Award was created by the Cleveland Indians, United States Navy and National Baseball Hall of Fame with support from Anne Feller, as well as the USS Alabama Battleship Commission, to honor the legacy of the late Indians hurler.

Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Feller put down his glove and traded in his cleats in order to join the Navy and fight for his country during World War II.

"Teaching the legacy of the greatest generation to the youngest generation will help instill in them the virtue of service to others," DiBiasio said.


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