ARLINGTON, Texas – Mark another change to the Major League Baseball schedule, triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Major League Baseball (MLB) commissioner’s office will hold off for the offseason recognitions to award winners Hank Aaron and Roberto Clemente, which are traditionally presented during the World Series.
The winners of the Reliever of the Year award, which were announced on Saturday, will also be honored later. Liam Hendriks of the Oakland Athletics won the Mariano Rivera Award in the American League, while rookie Devin Williams of the Milwaukee Brewers took Trevor Hoffman in the National League.
An MLB spokesperson told ESPN Digital the decision was made to prevent more players from having to travel to Arlington, Texas, the neutral venue for the 116th fall classic.
This year, MLB announced 14 finalists (seven in each league) for the Hank Aaron Award, which was created in 1999 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Aaron breaking the home run record held by Babe Ruth.
The Dominicans Nelson Cruz, of the Minnesota Twins; José Ramírez, of the Cleveland Indians, and Teoscar Hernández, of the Toronto Blue Jays, and Cuban José Abreu, of the Chicago White Sox, are among the seven candidates for the trophy in the American League.
In the National League, Juan Soto, of the Washington Nationals, and Manny Machado, of the San Diego Padres, entered as finalists.
The other finalists are Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves; Corey Seager, of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Dominic Smith, of the New York Mets, and Paul Goldschmidt, of the St. Louis Cardinals, on the old circuit, while Mike Trout, of the Los Angeles Angels; DJ LeMahieu of the New York Yankees and Brandon Lowe of the Tampa Bay Rays compete in the AL.
The Roberto Clemente Award, named after the legendary Puerto Rican member of the Cooperstown Hall of Fame, is given to the player who “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement, and the individual’s contribution to his team.” .
Each team nominates one of its members and the winner is recognized by MLB and the Clemente family during one of the World Series games.
Among this year’s nominees are Venezuelans Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers; Miguel Rojas, of the Miami Marlins, and Eduardo Escobar, of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and Dominicans Hanser Alberto, of the Baltimore Orioles, and Cruz, of Minnesota.