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New York Yankees' Derek Jeter wins Roberto Clemente award

Vera Clemente hugs Derek Jeter, who received the award named for her late husband.

Getty Images

Vera Clemente hugs Derek Jeter, who received the award named for her late husband.

NEW YORK — Yankees SS Derek Jeter's play on the field is impressive enough.

Thursday, his work off the field through his Turn 2 Foundation in the Tampa Bay area, New York and his home state of Michigan earned him the Roberto Clemente award, given annually to the player who combines a dedication to community service and outstanding skills.

Commissioner Bud Selig called Jeter "a wonderful role model" and "a man of great character and a strong sense of giving back." He said Jeter has made a great impact on the youth of those areas, "keeping them off drugs and alcohol and teaching them the values that will lead to a better and more fulfilling life."

Also, Selig said, "A player like Derek Jeter, it makes me very proud to be the commissioner of baseball."

Jeter — first joking, "I've got the commissioner fooled too, huh?" — said he is just trying to do what he feels is right.

"I think if you're in this position, you should try to take advantage of it," he said, "and you should try to give back as much as you can."

HELPING HAND: Signing RHP Pedro Martinez turned out to be a big deal for the Phillies, and it turns out former Rays assistant GM Scott Proefrock, who now has that job in Philadelphia, had a lot to do with it.

Phillies GM Ruben Amaro said they had come to the conclusion they needed to do something to bolster their rotation.

"Scott Proefrock and I were sitting in his office one day, and Scott said, 'What's Pedro doing? Is he still out there?' " Amaro said Thursday.

They quickly called Martinez's agents.

"And things sort of snowballed from there," Amaro said.

A workout and a couple of conversations later, and Martinez signed a one-year contract worth a prorated $2 million.

MAN OF PEACE: Yankees LF Johnny Damon was with the Red Sox when they brawled with the Yankees during the 2003 ALCS, and he was asked what he was doing during the action.

"I just came off of my concussion, and I had to try to be as careful as I could," he said. "So I was just trying to make sure if there was something going on, I would try to help prevent something because there was no way I was ready to get into headlocks with guys."

MISCELLANY: The Phillies were without INF Greg Dobbs, who was sent home for tests due to a severe stomach flu. … Both teams are traveling by train, the Phillies leaving after the game and the Yankees this morning, and will work out today in Philadelphia. … Phillies LHP Cliff Lee in Game 1 became the first pitcher in postseason history to strike out at least 10 without allowing an earned run or a walk. … The Phillies have won the opener in their past six postseason series.

New York Yankees' Derek Jeter wins Roberto Clemente award 10/29/09 [Last modified: Friday, October 30, 2009 7:54am]
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