D-backs honor Paul Goldschmidt with Luis Gonzalez Award

A Phoenix Children’s Hospital patient smiles while talking with D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt Wednesday, Sept. 13. (Independent Newsmedia/Josh Martinez)

The Arizona Diamondbacks announced Paul Goldschmidt was named the winner of the 2018 Luis Gonzalez Award, which is given annually to the D-backs player who best exemplifies the talents, spirit and heart of the D-backs legend both on and off the field, as voted by his teammates, coaches and staff members.

Mr. Gonzalez will present the award to Mr. Goldschmidt during a ceremony prior to the Wednesday, Sept. 26 game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to a press release.

“Paul Goldschmidt is an MVP both on the field and off,” Mr. Gonzalez, senior advisor to the president and CEO, said in a prepared statement.

“While his talents as a player often go unnoticed by the national media, so does his approach to giving back and that is by design. He never wants the recognition or the attention but he is a true leader for our team and the community.”

Paul Goldschmidt (Arianna Grainey/Independent Newsmedia)

Mr. Goldschmidt, like Mr. Gonzalez, has become a perennial MVP candidate and this season ranks among National Legue leaders in on-base plus slugging (second, .937), on-base percentage (fourth, .393), slugging percentage (fifth, .543) and home runs (tied for fifth, 33).

He ranks second all-time in franchise history with 1,088 games, 708 runs, 1,179 hits, 267 doubles, 209 home runs and 710 RBI, trailing only Mr. Gonzalez in each category. Goldschmidt was named to a franchise-record sixth all-star team in 2018, one more than Mr. Gonzalez and Randy Johnson.

Off the field, Mr. Goldschmidt has established himself as a charitable athletes and was recently named the D-backs nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award for the fifth consecutive season, a release states.

Since his Major League debut in 2011, Mr. Goldschmidt and his wife Amy have supported Phoenix Children’s Hospital in numerous ways, including serving as registered volunteers, launching Goldy’s Fund 4 Kids in 2014, chairing the first-ever Champs for Children event and hosting Goldy’s Bowling Bash to raise money for PCH for the past two years.

D-backs’ first baseman Paul Goldschmidt presents a check to Steve Schnall, senior vice president and chief development officer for the PCH Foundation, Wednesday, Sept. 13. (Independent Newsmedia/Josh Martinez)

Goldy’s Fund 4 Kids is a charitable fund that supports projects at PCH. Champs for Children raises money for the hospital and celebrates the patients who embody the spirit of a champion.

The Goldschmidts were also named honorary chairs for the Hope Lives Here capital campaign to raise funds for the building of the new Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at PCH and in addition to their personal $1 million gift, Paul and Amy have raised more than $1 million dollars.

In addition to his work with Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Mr. Goldschmidt has chaired events and organizations including Chrysalis, a non-profit domestic violence shelter, and assisted Soldier’s Best Friend, a local non-profit that pairs veterans with adopted animals and then certifies them as a service animal.

After graduating from University of Phoenix in 2013, Mr. Goldschmidt provides full-tuition scholarships for students wanting to continue their education at University of Phoenix. The Goldschmidts personally select the finalists to receive the award and present the scholarships at a D-backs game.

Mr. Gonzalez became the first former player to have the D-backs retire his number. He also hit a game-winning single in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series to beat the New York Yankees and give the franchise its only MLB title.

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