Robinson Canó and Julio Cruz honored on Roberto Clemente Day

Robinson Cano visiting a patient at Seattle Children’s Hospital during a Seattle Mariners Get Well Tour.

Robinson Cano visiting a patient at Seattle Children’s Hospital during a Seattle Mariners Get Well Tour.

Robinson Canó is the Seattle Mariners finalist for MLB’s prestigious Clemente Award and longtime fan favorite Julio Cruz has been named the inaugural recipient of the Mariners SEAT 21 program that recognizes community members who embody Clemente’s spirit.

Canó is a seven-time All-Star, Gold Glove and Silver Slugger winner, and one of the elite players in the game. He is also dedicated to improving the lives of underserved children and communities.

In 2011, Canó established the RC22 Foundation. Over the years, it has supported youth charities and organization in both Seattle and his native Dominican Republic.

The Foundation’s signature project is the RC22 Dream School in the impoverished community of San Pedro de Macoris, Cano’s hometown. The Montessori school provides high quality early childhood education to 101 students as well as programs for parents and educational and vocational training opportunities for the entire community.

The RC22 Foundation has also provided over 8,000 children in the Dominican with holiday gifts including educational equipment, bicycles, toys and athletic equipment.

Canó is also a strong supporter of Seattle Children’s Hospital, the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic, City Year Seattle and the Boys & Girls Clubs of King County.

For the first time ever, fans can use social media to help select the winner of the Clemente Award. Beginning Wednesday, Mariners fans can vote for Canó on Twitter and Facebook by using #VoteCanó.

Julio Cruz, with Rick Rizzs and Dave Valle, at Seattle Ronald McDonald House during a Toys for Kids holiday gift party.

Julio Cruz, with Rick Rizzs and Dave Valle, at Seattle Ronald McDonald House during a Toys for Kids holiday gift party.

The Mariners are also honoring Julio Cruz as the Mariners first-ever SEAT 21 honoree. SEAT 21 is a program created by Major League Baseball to recognize community members who embody Clemente’s humanitarian spirit. Cruz, who played second base for the Mariners from 1977-1983, has remained a part of the community and has been a strong supporter of the Toys for Kids program founded by Rick Rizzs and former teammate Dave Henderson. Toys for Kids raises funds to buy gifts for hospitalized and homeless children during the holidays.

The Mariners salute Robinson Canó and Julio Cruz for their commitment to making the world a better place.

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