CLEVELAND — The accolades for Cleveland Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco continued on Tuesday night, as he received the 'Indians Champion' award at Our Lady of the Wayside's 'Champions in the Community' gala at Punch Bowl Social. The event honors local sports champions whose philanthropic wins off the field have made a positive difference in the community.
Carrasco was honored last week with Major League Baseball's Roberto Clemente Award prior to Game 3 of the World Series.
The Tribe's right-hander fought through a battle with chronic myeloid leukemia in the middle of the 2019 regular season, but worked through minor-league rehabilitation appearances with the Akron RubberDucks and Columbus Clippers before making a triumphant return to the Indians’ bullpen on September 1.
Carrasco is the third player in Indians history to win the Roberto Clemente Award, following in the footsteps of Hall of Fame slugger Jim Thome (2002) and Andre “Thunder” Thornton (1979).
Winning the Clemente and Indians Champion awards wasn't just about Carrasco's incredible comeback from leukemia. The pitcher known as 'Cookie' is a tireless supporter of charitable causes in Cleveland, in his native Venezuela, and around the world.
"It's not so easy to see what's going on out there (Venezuela)," Carrasco said, referencing the political unrest going on in his homeland during his acceptance speech at Punch Bowl. "With everybody's help, we can make a difference."
Carrasco is also making a difference in Northeast Ohio. While working through his own battle, Carrasco frequently visited patients from Cleveland Clinic Children’s who, like him, were fighting leukemia. Also, after making his return to the Indians, Carrasco vowed to “punchout cancer” and donated $200 for every strikeout he had over the last month of the season.
"In my 10 years in Cleveland, I've had a lot of ups and downs," Carrasco told 3News after getting his 'Indians Champion' award. "The community and fans have always been there. When I came back and saw all the fans cheering for me...for me, this is family."
Other winners on Tuesday night including Browns tackle Chris Hubbard and Cavs forward Larry Nance Jr.