Indians first baseman/designated hitter Nick Swisher is one of the six finalists among Major League Baseball players for the second annual Bob Feller Act of Valor Award.
Swisher has participated in USO tours to Afghanistan for forward-deployed troops and is active in the Wounded Warrior Project and Operation Homefront. Swisher and his wife, Joanna, also visited troops in Afghanistan during Thanksgiving in 2011.
In May, as part of Operation Homefront, Swisher got a "High & Tight" haircut as part of Philips Norelco’s efforts during Military Appreciation Month.
The other MLB finalists are Washington’s Adam LaRoche, Milwaukee’s Jonathan Lucroy, Pittsburgh’s Charlie Morton and Arizona’s Brad Ziegler. Before Friday’s Indians-Royals game at Progressive Field the nominees will be honored in a special ceremony that will be attended by Bob Feller’s widow, Anne.
The six finalists were chosen from a list of 12 nominees that also included Jay Bruce (Cincinnati), Billy Butler (Kansas City), Michael Cuddyer (Colorado), Sean Doolittle (Oakland), Mike Dunn (Miami) and Darren O’Day (Baltimore).
Nominees were evaluated on baseball accomplishments, integrity and character, service to country and community involvement.
Before Saturday’s game, Quilts of Honor East will present handmade quilts to Swisher and Butler. The mission of Quilts of Honor is to bestow a universal symbol and token of thanks, solace and remembrance to those who serve/have served or support those who serve/have served. The other 10 nominees will also receive quilts at some point during the season.
In addition to a player, one Hall of Famer and one Navy Chief Petty Officer will be selected and honored in a Veterans Day ceremony at the U.S. Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C. The Hall of Fame nominees are Johnny Bench, Tommy Lasorda, Monte Irvin, Whitey Ford and Willie Mays.
Last year’s winners were Hospital Corpsman Chief Petty Officer Garth Sinclair of the United States Navy, Hall of Famer Yogi Berra and Detroit pitcher Justin Verlander.
The Bob Feller Act of Valor Award was created by the Indians, the United States Navy and the National Baseball Hall of Fame with the support of Anne Feller and the USS ALABAMA Battleship Commission to honor Feller’s legacy.
"The Indians remain extremely grateful for Bob’s contribution to our organization and this country, and are proud to share in the creation of this award, which focuses on three things Bob held most dear: the Cleveland Indians, the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and the United States Navy," said Bob DiBiasio, Indians Senior Vice President of Public Affairs. "We look forward to honoring these nominees for their display of high character and dedication to servicemen and women."