The Washington Nationals have nominated RHP Craig Stammen for the Bob Feller Act of Valor Award. The Act of Valor Award is given out to three people who share the characteristics of Bob Feller: an active MLB player, a member of the Navy, and a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Award winners are selected because they are dedicated to serving our country and share the values and integrity of Bob Feller. Previous winners of the award, which was established in 2013, are Justin Verlander and Nick Swisher, and Hall of Famers Yogi Berra and Tommy Lasorda. From the Navy, the winners were Garth Sinclair and Carl Thompson.
Stammen was nominated by the Nationals because he regularly visits with wounded veterans both at Nationals Park and at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. In 2012, Stammen joined the Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey on a USO tour that visited four countries. He also helped start “Defending the Baseline” to give military children all over the world the chance to play baseball. Stammen hosts a group from Defending the Base Line at Nationals games once a month, providing them with tickets, NatsBucks for food and merchandise, access to watch batting practice from the field and a private meet and greet. In 2013, he donated $35 per strikeout to the organization.
In addition to his military support, Stammen has a long history of community service. He hosts an annual Diamond Dinner at his former high school in Versailles, Ohio to raise money for the Versailles baseball, softball and track programs, school facilities and a new scholarship fund.
Other nominees for the 2015 Bob Feller Act of Valor Award include:
Arizona Diamondbacks: Brad Ziegler
Baltimore Orioles: Darren O’Day
Boston Red Sox: Dustin Pedroia
Chicago White Sox: Adam LaRoche
Cincinnati Reds: Jay Bruce
Cleveland Indians: Trevor Bauer
Kansas City Royals: Wade Davis
Miami Marlins: Steve Cishek (traded to St. Louis Cardinals 7/24/15)
Milwaukee Brewers: Jonathan Lucroy
Minnesota Twins: Brian Dozier
New York Mets: Curtis Granderson
Oakland Athletics: Sean Doolittle
Pittsburgh Pirates: Charlie Morton
San Diego Padres: Ian Kennedy
Washington Nationals: Craig Stammen
The 2015 Hall of Fame nominees are:
Cleveland Indians: Bob Lemon
Cincinnati Reds: Johnny Bench
Kansas City Royals: George Brett
Miami Marlins: Andre Dawson
Minnesota Twins: Rod Carew
The award will be given out near Veterans’ Day at a ceremony at the U.S. Navy Memorial in downtown DC. I have been lucky enough to attend the past two years, and you can read about my experiences here:
Keep reading MattsBats.com for more information about the finalists and winners as they are chosen and coverage of the award ceremony in November.