CLEVELAND -- Justin Morneau remembers when former Twins third baseman Corey Koskie held a campout with the homeless in the middle of winter.
Koskie's contributions to the community served as inspiration for Morneau to also reach out to the community. For the second time in his career, Minnesota's first baseman has been selected as the club's nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award for his dedication to giving back to the community. Voting is under way through Oct. 14 at MLB.com/ClementeAward as fans help decide which of the 30 club winners will receive this year's distinction.
"It's pretty cool," Morneau said. "There are a lot of people who do a lot of good things in the game, and in this clubhouse. There are other guys who are deserving to be nominated, as well. It's always an honor to have your name mentioned in the same sentence as Roberto Clemente, with all of the things that he did."
Growing up in Canada, Morneau appreciated the charitable efforts of Trevor Linden of the Vancouver Canucks and Larry Walker, a slugger for the Expos, Rockies and Cardinals. For each RBI he tallies, Morneau dedicates $100 to help renovate youth ball fields. He contributes to the Arthritis Foundation, Como Zoo and Conservatory, Salvation Army and Twins Community Fund. Morneau's Mounties has provided more than 10,000 Twins game tickets to the families of the U.S. military since 2009.
"You always wish you could do more, but every little bit makes a difference," Morneau said. "We're in a position of strength and a position for people to look up to someone to do things right. As good or bad as we're playing on the field, you can always help somebody out in a positive way off the field."