Oct. 26 (UPI) -- Cleveland Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco has been named the 2019 Roberto Clemente Award winner.
Major League Baseball announced the honor Friday. The Roberto Clemente Award is given annually to a player who demonstrates the values Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente displayed with a commitment to their community and helping others.
"I love to do this, because when I was growing up I saw a lot of people help in the community," Carrasco told reporters. "I just want to show my kids they can do it in the future too."
Carrasco, 32, was diagnosed with a treatable form of leukemia in May. He was sick and sidelined for months during the 2019 season. He returned to the mound Sept. 1. Carrasco was a frequent visiter of hospitals, meeting with children fighting the disease while he received treatment for his own illness.
"I admire Carlos' spirit, because anyone could have just felt down after that diagnosis," said Roberto Clemente's son, Luis Clemente. "He only dedicated 10 seconds [of thinking he was going to die], and that was it. He knew what he needed to do, to help others."
Carrasco and his wife Karry shop, cook, box and distribute 500 lunches to the homeless every other Sunday in the offseason. They donate two $10,000 scholarships annually to single mothers and have distributed clothing and school supplies to children in Africa. Carrasco has also donated toys, money and medical supplies to people in Venezuela, his native country.
The Indians pitcher is the first Venezuelan to win the award.
"To me, that means a lot," Carrasco said. "To win it for Venezuela, I feel so happy. The way we did everything, this is a team with my wife and my family.
"This is something I love to do and I'm never stopping."
He received the award Friday before Game 3 of the 2019 World Series. He'll return to the field Saturday during Game 4, participating in MLB's Stand Up To Cancer campaign. Carrasco had a 5.29 ERA and a 6-7 record in 23 appearances this season. He won a league-high 18 games for the Indians in 2017.
"We are proud to welcome Carlos Carrasco to the prestigious fraternity of Roberto Clemente Award winners," MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a news release. "The Roberto Clemente Award is the most important individual player award due to the genuine impact that Major League players have on those who are most in need.
"Carlos, through his global philanthropic efforts, is an excellent example of someone who selflessly acts on behalf of the less fortunate and embodies the spirit of our game's most celebrated humanitarian."
St. Louis Cardinals veteran Yadier Molina won the 2018 Roberto Clemente Award. Anthony Rizzo, Curtis Granderson, Andrew McCutchen, Jimmy Rollins, Paul Konerko, Carlos Beltran, Clayton Kershaw, David Ortiz, Tim Wakefield, Derek Jeter and Albert Pujols have also won the award.
The Washington Nationals host the Houston Astros in Game 4 of the 2019 World Series at 8:07 p.m. EDT Saturday at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.