This year has been Eduardo Escobar’s best year on the ballfield, excelling as a utility player before taking over at third base for slugger Miguel Sano to help the Twins become the first team to go from 100-plus losses to the postseason.
But always lurking in the back of his mind is Venezuela where political and economic turmoil have brought tremendous hardship on the people of his troubled homeland. Escobar, a switch-hitting 28-year-old who has batted .252 with 20 home runs and 70 RBIs while playing five defensive positions this season, uses his platform as a major leaguer to spread awareness about the current situation in Venezuela. During Players Weekend in August, he paid homage to his hometown of El De La Pica on his jersey’s shoulder patch
“The situation in Venezuela is hard,” Escobar told the Pioneer Press. “I’m waiting for things to get better. My country is a really good country, but the situation is so bad right now.”
Escobar is also taking action.
Through his Eduardo Escobar Foundation (@Fundacionescob1 on Twitter) he provides his Venezuelan neighbors with food, medical supplies, basic necessities and local baseball leagues with baseball equipment.
— Fundacionescobar5 (@Fundacionescob1) September 24, 2017
Escobar’s foundation recently delivered lunch to 2,000 in need in the Palo Negro neighborhood of Aragua, Venezuela. The act is part of the foundation’s yearlong campaign to provide a helping hand to Venezuelans in need.
“I am very grateful to the Eduardo Escobar Foundation for providing me with such great joy, they are actions that fill the hearts of needy people,” one man told Aragϋeño, a Venezuelan publication, after receiving a wheelchair from the foundation.
Joining together with the Twins, Escobar has visited local schools to provide school supplies and set an example for children in the Twin-Cities area, using his story as an example of hard work and perseverance. Additionally, Escobar has provided game tickets for local Spanish-speaking students to attend Twins games.
Escobar’s teammates recognized his tireless community efforts by choosing him as the team’s nominee for the 2017 Marvin Miller Man of the Year award, which goes to the player whose performance on and off the field most inspires his fellow players. Fans then selected him as the finalist to represent the American League Central for player balloting whose results will be announced in November.
After learning that fans selected him as a finalist for the award, Escobar tweeted, “I’m truly thankful for all those beautiful people that helped to be a finalist for the Marvin Miller Award. I’m honored to have the support of all the fans, you guys make me proud and loved.”
Major Leaguers are #GoingToBat for causes near and dear to them, as they personify the Players Trust’s motto to ‘care, act and inspire.’ To learn more about the charitable interests and activities of Eduardo Escobar and other Major Leaguers, please click here.