Yankees' Gleyber Torres Named as Special Olympics Global Ambassador

Max Goodman

The Yankees are just a few days away from entering postseason play, poised to embark on a deep run at a World Series title. For starting shortstop Gleyber Torres, there's work to be done off the field as well.

Torres, along with Chicago Cubs' catcher Willson Contreras, have officially joined the ranks as Special Olympics Global Ambassadors. The Venezuelan-born stars are the first MLB players to become Global Ambassadors of the movement. 

"It's an honor. I feel good about that," Torres said on Thursday afternoon, hours after the official announcement. "During the offseason and in Spring Training, my agent called me and explained that I could get this big opportunity. I said yes for sure."

As Special Olympics Global Ambassadors, Torres and Contreras will utilize their networks as professional athletes to support and promote the organization’s mission worldwide. That includes in America, where Torres will partner with Special Olympics New York, and his home country of Venezuela. 

“Special Olympics is proud to have Gleyber Torres and Willson Contreras join our movement as Global Ambassadors,” said Special Olympics chief executive officer Mary Davis in a statement. “Their passion and perspective amplify the voice of the Unified Generation and show the world how the power of sport can create an inclusive world.”

This isn't the first time Torres has given his time to helping others and certainly won't be the last. Just before Spring Training began in February, Torres was a recipient of the Thurman Munson Award, an honor annually bestowed to players that inspire with their performance on the field and in the community.

"I always like to help people and now I get that opportunity and I feel like I'm 100 percent focused on that," Torres said. "We planned before the season to have a few events, but with the virus, we can't do anything. I'm so excited to see what we can do after that and be with those guys. It's a great experience for me, I'm so happy."

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Special Olympics is a global movement designed to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. Founded in 1968, the movement aims to foster acceptance of all people through the power of sports and programming in education, health, and leadership.

At 23 years old and developing into one of the brightest young stars in baseball, Torres is eager to continue dedicating his time to giving back by getting involved in a new project.

"I am excited to hit the ground running and lend my platform to Special Olympics athletes to spread inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities in New York, Florida, Latin America and beyond."

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