Minoru Iwata was named the winner of the 19th Golden Spirit Award.
Iwata was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes while he was in high school. He currently wears an insulin pump during games to control his blood sugar levels. Wanting to help others with similar conditions, he started donating money to diabetes research in 2009 (100,000 yen for every win he records). He has visited patients and invited them to watch him pitch. He has also spoken up about his condition to help spread awareness.
Selection Committee Members
Yoshiharu Otsuka (Japan Red Cross Society, Vice President), Katsuhiko Kumazaki (NPB Commissioner), Kazuo Sayama (writer), Shigeo Nagashima (Honorary Manager for the Yomiuri Giants), Shinichi Maruyama (Hochi Shimbun, Representative Director, President), Yuko Mitsuya (Japan Basketball Association, Chairperson)
Source: Sports Hochi 11/8/2017