Former Spokane Indian claims Clemente Award

Carlos Beltran was recognized for work on and off field. (Associated Press)

Carlos Beltran of the St. Louis Cardinals is this year’s recipient of the Roberto Clemente Award, an award which recognizes the player whose contributions on and off the field best represent the game.

“I must say this year’s recipient truly exemplifies Roberto’s philosophy,” Clemente’s widow, Vera Clemente said. “Carlos Beltran, you are the pride of all Puerto Ricans.”

Beltran, who played for the Spokane Indians in 1996, has contributed more than $4 million to his Carlos Beltran Academy in Puerto Rico and has hosted fundraising efforts throughout the year.

Clearing the bases

The 48-year-old LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune has become the first black reporter to head the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Neal was elected to succeed Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. … Dodgers third-base coach Tim Wallach has interviewed for the Tigers’ managerial opening. … Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg has had bone chips removed from his surgically repaired right elbow. Bryce Harper (left knee) and Adam LaRoche (left elbow) also had minor operations this week.

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