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Justin Turner is the 2022 Roberto Clemente Award recipient

PHILADELPHIA — The Roberto Clemente Award is regarded as baseball’s most prestigious award, an award that exemplified the life and legacy of Roberto Enrique Clemente Walker. The award recognizes people who have walked the deep molded footsteps that were imprinted by Clemente when he became a Major League Baseball player to the moment of his tragic passing on New Year’s Eve 1972. 

Major League Baseball has not forgotten “The Great One.” That is proven on this day when they continue to carry his legacy in today’s world with the players that don the uniforms and cleats around the league.

Los Angeles Dodgers’ third baseman Justin Turner was awarded the Roberto Clemente Award for his off-the-field contributions to society that have touched the lives of countless individuals from different walks of life. Turner established the Justin Turner Foundation in 2016, an organization that is driven by him and his wife, Kourtney Turner. The foundation’s mission is to help and support homeless veterans, children, and families battling life-altering illnesses. 

“When you think about baseball and the history and all the great accolades that can be achieved on the field, this is one that stands out above all of ’em, for me,” Turner said as he was granted the award Monday night at Citizens Bank Park. 

Turner accepted the award prior to what was supposed to be Game 3 of the World Series before it was postponed until Tuesday, November 1. Beside him was MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, two of Roberto Clemente’s three sons, Roberto Jr. and Luis Clemente, and Andy Navarrete, the Executive Vice President, External Affairs for Capital One Financial Corporation. Turner sat with a nervous yet humble smile that captivated the life-fulfilling honor he felt as the bronze award was placed in front of him. 

Turner’s activism extends from the Los Angeles area and beyond. The 37-year-old veteran and Kourtney have made countless donations and have spent their time visiting those they have sought to take care of during unprecedented times. Turner also spoke about the importance of the Latino community in the communities that he serves and plays for as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

“I think being in Los Angeles, growing up in Los Angeles, obviously there’s a very heavy Latino presence. Getting out in the community, getting into schools, getting into hospitals, and spending time with our community, you realize that there’s a burning desire and passion for Dodger baseball in our Latin community.”

Listed below is a summary presented by Major League Baseball of Turner’s work with his JTF organization and how his dedication to activism granted him the prestigious award:

  • Founded the Justin Turner Foundation (JTF) in 2016 with his wife Kourtney. JTF’s stated mission is to support homeless veterans, children and families battling life-altering diseases and illnesses as well as youth baseball organizations.
  • Justin has been intimately involved with the operations of The Dream Center, a Los Angeles-based resource center focused on supporting the hungry and homeless through community outreach programs. He has aided in the The Dream Center’s programming for veterans, donated $100,000 to cover the annual budget of its Foster Care intervention program, and assisted throughout the pandemic with providing food and essential supplies to families. In 2021, The Dream Center renamed its food bank The Justin & Kourtney Turner Food Bank, and it currently supplies food to over 60 food banks throughout Los Angeles.
  • Justin and Kourtney have provided over 70,000 toys and 14,000 bicycles to children in Los Angeles. They have also donated more than $100,000 for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), where Justin now sits on the board of directors. They make frequent visits to patients at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital and Cedars Sinai Hospital throughout the year, send “get well” videos to dozens of children struggling with health issues all over the country, and serve as honorary hosts for CHLA’s Walk and Play LA event.
  • The Justin Turner Foundation holds an annual golf tournament and supports AM 570’s Veterans Day Radio-a-thon, both of which aid the Dream Center’s Veterans Program. In 2022, the golf tournament raised over $650,000 for The Dream Center and CHLA.
  • Following in his wife Kourtney’s passion for running, Justin was the race starter for the 2022 LA Marathon, helping raise over $70,000.
  • During 2022 MLB All-Star Week, Justin appeared an All-Star Legacy event to commemorate a generous donation by his foundation that helped renovate the main community room and dining area of the Transition House, a 20,000 sq. foot facility in Downton Los Angeles (in the heart of Skid Row) that serves as one of the few providers serving homeless veterans who have limited support.

 

 

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