Carlos Beltran wins the 2013 Roberto Clemente Award

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ST. LOUIS — Carlos Beltran was chosen as the Roberto Clemente Award recipient before Game 3 of the World Series Saturday night.

The Clemente Award goes to the player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship and community involvement. Beltran was selected from a list of 30 Club nominees by a panel of dignitaries that included Commissioner Bud Selig, past award winners and the Clemente family. Additionally, fans were able to cast a vote for the award.

 “Major League Baseball is thrilled to present our most prestigious off-field honor, the Roberto Clemente Award, to a fellow, gifted Puerto Rican standout, Carlos Beltran,” Commissioner Selig said. “It is an honor to recognize one of our game’s most accomplished players and his wife, Jessica, for their extraordinary work through the Carlos Beltran Foundation and the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy.  Their family’s commitment to making a difference in the lives of young people in St. Louis and their home of Puerto Rico is a powerful example for others and a testament to the philanthropic spirit of Roberto Clemente.”

Beltran’s baseball bona fides are without question. His community involvement may be less known, but is no less impressive. He opened the Carlos Beltran Academy in Puerto Rico in August 2011. The Academy allows young athletes education opportunities they otherwise wouldn’t have access to. He established the school with an initial $3 million personal contribution, and maintains it through annual fundraising events. This past June, the school had its first graduation ceremony where 44 boys  received their high school diploma.

There is a special resonance here as well, as both Beltran and Clemente are products of Puerto Rico. Beltran’s comments accepting the award a few moments ago made special notice of the example Clemente set for him, both in baseball and philanthropic terms.

“I’ve said many times throughout my career, the impact Roberto Clemente has had on me, not only as a baseball player, but also as a humanitarian and Puerto Rican,” said Beltran. “I am so humbled and blessed that God has given me the opportunity to help others and make an impact on the lives of children, just as Roberto did for many years. I have had many people support me throughout my career and I am just proud to share this honor with them.”

Congratulations, Carlos Beltran.

World Series Game 1 will feature Dallas Keuchel vs. Clayton Kershaw

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The Dodgers and Astros have selected their starters for Game 1 of the World Series. Left-hander Dallas Keuchel will open the series for the Astros, while fellow lefty Clayton Kershaw will take the mound for the first of two home games at Dodger Stadium.

Keuchel, 29, has been a steady presence for the Astros this postseason. He clinched Game 2 of the ALDS with 5 2/3 innings of one-run, seven-strikeout ball against the Red Sox and returned for his second postseason win with seven scoreless innings against the Yankees in Game 1 of the ALCS. He was outmatched in Game 5 of the Championship Series, however, scattering four runs and eight strikeouts across 4 2/3 innings while the Yankees worked their way up to a 5-0 shutout. Nevertheless, he’s perhaps the Astros’ strongest arm behind ALCS MVP Justin Verlander and has not surrendered a single home run in 17 1/3 consecutive innings this postseason.

Kershaw, on the other hand, has had a less consistent track record in the playoffs. While his postseason yips have been well-documented thus far, his struggles on the mound haven’t always led to disaster — at least not this time around. The Dodgers are 3-0 in all three of Kershaw’s starts this month and enjoyed a quality start from their ace during Game 5 of the NLCS last Thursday. The 29-year-old southpaw recorded his second win of the playoffs with a run, three hits, a walk and five strikeouts over six innings. Unlike Keuchel, he’s given up a home run in each of his outings to date (and four homers in Game 1 of the NLDS).

Game 1 is set for Tuesday evening at 8:00 PM ET. The Dodgers have home field advantage through Games 1 and 2 before the series moves to Houston, and will try to capitalize on that advantage in order to extend their postseason winning streak at Dodger Stadium. They’re 4-0 at home and 3-1 on the road this October, while the Astros boast a 6-0 advantage in Houston and a significantly less impressive 1-4 record away from home.