NEW YORK — In unprecedented times, one thing remains true: Nelson Cruz is an absolute beast. And, that’s why Major League Baseball has awarded him the American League Player of the Week.
In the first three games of the 2020 season, Cruz has accumulated a .538 average and has tallied seven hits, three home runs, 10 RBI and 1.956 OPS against the Chicago White Sox over the Opening Day weekend.
“ (I) trust the work that I put out everyday and just go out there and execute. Doesn’t mean it’ll work out every day. But if you stick with it, you’re most likely to be successful,” Cruz said after hitting two home runs in Sunday’s matchup at Guaranteed Rate Field.
— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) July 26, 2020
Cruz has opened the floodgates to the MLB record books, becoming the fourth-oldest major leaguer, at 40 years and 25 days old, to hit seven RBI in a game — a feat only Jason Giambi and Hall of Famers Stan Musial and Reggie Jackson have been able to accomplish.
Also, he is the second-oldest player with four extra-base hits in a game since 1901 — the oldest being Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson.
“With experience you find a way,” Cruz said during the American League Division Series in 2019 when asked about his success at his age. “With a lot of work, you find the teams that’ll help you. You pick and choose and I try to just implement routines every year. If I find it doesn’t help me to be better, I change. Not only that, you definitely have to put in a lot of work, especially at my age. Rest, that’s why I make sure I take my naps and have a good diet … most of the days.”
Since making his debut on September, 17, 2005, Cruz has a career 404 home runs and 1,129 RBI with five major league clubs — a brief call-up with the Brewers, then it was onto the Rangers, Orioles, Mariners and Twins. Since 2014, he has recorded 35-plus home runs — four of those seasons (‘14, ‘15, ‘16 and ‘19) resulted with 40 home runs or more.
Nelson Cruz is not a boisterous leader through the eyes of fans but a veteran who conducts himself with much poise and purpose — both on and off the field.
In 2019, the 16-year veteran in the league was awarded the Hank Aaron Award and the Muhammad Ali Sports for his work with his organization, the Boomstick23 foundation. According to boomstick23.org, Boomstick23 is a “non-profit organization, committed to generating social impact by empowering children and young people in situations of social vulnerability; developing skills and abilities through education and sports to improve the environment and their quality of life.”
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