Former Mountaineer ace Alek Manoah is having a record-setting season on the mound. He’s 15-7 with a 2.31 ERA, and is having arguably the best season a WVU alumnus has ever produced in Major League Baseball.
Manoah, however, was honored Monday for his quick work off the field.
The tall Blue Jays right-hander was honored with a sportsmanship award through Dove Men+Care after he recently defended teammate and catcher Alejandro Kirk, who was criticized for his weight on Twitter earlier this month. Manoah is the first recipient of the sportsmanship sponsorship from the American-based company.
Manoah received $100,000 Canadian (roughly USD $73,000) in sponsorship prizes, which he immediately donated to KidSport, a Canadian nonprofit that gives children the opportunity to participate in organized sports, according to reports.
Responding to the insensitive comment, Manoah had this to say to the Montreal-based radio host who criticized Kirk’s weight.
“Go ahead and tell that 8 year old kid who is 10lbs over weight that he should quit now,” he tweeted. “Let KIRK inspire those kids to continue to chase their dreams and chase greatness.”
Matthew Ross, who posted the tweet, later deleted the post and shut down his account before issuing a public apology for his remarks.
In a press release Monday, Dove Men+Care praised Manoah for “promoting body positive reassurance” and demonstrating “notable sportsmanship on a global stage.” The company also announced Manoah’s intention to donate the prize to KidSport.
Both Manoah and his catcher were part of the American League All-Star team this season. Manoah became the first former Mountaineer player to pitch in the Midsummer Classic.