Indians announce Tribute for Heroes finalists

Indians announce Tribute for Heroes finalists

ARLINGTON -- Indians first baseman Nick Swisher felt honored to be a part of the selection process for Major League Baseball and People magazine's Tribute to Heroes initiative.

On Tuesday, MLB and People unveiled the 90 finalists (three per big league team) for the program, which recognizes veterans and military service members. One winner from each Major League team will be included in All-Star Week festivities and recognized during a pregame ceremony leading up to the July 16 All-Star Game at Citi Field in New York.

Swisher was part of a panel that selected the finalists.

"Any time I get an opportunity to do something like that, I take it with a lot of pride," Swisher said. "I was able to read some of the applicants that were brought in. It almost kind of brings you tears, the things these men and women go through. It almost makes me look back and think, man, I don't even know if I'd be man enough to do some of the things they're doing.

"People like that deserve so much credit, and this is such an amazing thing. If we can bring a little more attention to what they're doing, I think that's great for everybody."

Cleveland's three finalists are Gary Myers, Raymond T. Matwich and Daniel McKee. Myers is an eight-year Marine Corps combat veteran (he served in both Iraq and Afghanistan) and thyroid cancer survivor. Matwich is a 92-year-old veteran of World War II with five Battle Stars to his credit. McKee served 23 years in the Navy, was deployed eight times and won numerous medals and awards.

Fans can visit to vote on their favorite stories through June 30.

"That list could go on and on and on," Swisher said. "Just to be able to have the applicants that we've had, they were so amazing. It's tough to narrow it down to just one individual. For all the men and women out there doing what they're doing, they deserve so much credit."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.