BOSTON (CBS) – Craig Breslow has been a key part of the success of the Boston Red Sox bullpen this season, but he’s also been making some big contributions off the field.

Breslow was named as the Red Sox’ nominee for the 2013 Roberto Clemente Award, which recognizes a Major League Baseball player who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.

The 33-year-old lefthander has been a long-time advocate for pediatric oncology, establishing The Strike 3 Foundation in 2008 to raise awareness, cultivate support, and raise funds to help fight cancer in children. He oversees the daily operations of the foundation, which has raised more than $1.5 million.

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The fight against children’s cancer hits home for Breslow, whose sister was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at age 14 and has been a cancer survivor for 15 years.

But his contributions off the field doesn’t stop at Strike 3, as he is considered one of Boston’s most active players in the community.

Earlier this year, the native of Connecticut conducted baseball clinics for children from Newtown, and spent time with patients at the Yale New Haven Medical Center. In June, he visited patients at Tufts Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center, and spent time with Jimmy Fund patients during Spring Training and at Fenway Park during the baseball season.

Fans are encouraged to help select this year’s Roberto Clemente Award by visiting Voting begins on Tuesday, Roberto Clemente Day in MLB, and concludes on October 6.

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Roberto Clemente Day is celebrated throughout Major League Baseball each September. The day and the award honor the legacy of the outstanding Pittsburgh Pirates’ Hall of Famer who died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Managua, Nicaragua.

Red Sox players won back-to-back awards in 2010 and 2011 when Tim Wakefield and David Ortiz were honored, respectively.  Wakefield is now the Honorary Chairman of the Red Sox Foundation.


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