Players Selected for Philanthropic and Humanitarian Efforts Will Be Recognized by Clubs Beginning on Roberto Clemente Day presented by Capital One (Thursday, Sept. 15th)
Pittsburgh Pirates Will Play the New York Mets at Citi Field on Roberto Clemente Day,
With Roberto Clemente Award Winners in the Ballpark; Game Airing Nationwide on FOX
Major League Baseball Will Recognize the 50th Anniversary of Clemente’s Tragic Passing in 1972
Major League Baseball today announced plans to celebrate the humanitarian legacy of Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente, centered around the annual Roberto Clemente Day and baseball’s most prestigious individual honor, the Roberto Clemente Award – both of which are presented by Capital One.
The 30 Club nominees for the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Capital One includes some of the game’s most philanthropic and humanitarian players, including 16 first-time honorees. The Roberto Clemente Award is the annual recognition of a Major League player who best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field. The nominees, which were announced exclusively and LIVE on MLB Network, will be officially recognized beginning on Thursday, September 15th, Roberto Clemente Day presented by Capital One. Major League Baseball established Roberto Clemente Day in 2002 to honor the late Hall of Famer’s legacy as a humanitarian.
The 30 Club nominees of the 2022 Roberto Clemente Award are listed below:
Arizona Diamondbacks – Josh Rojas*
Atlanta Braves – Tyler Matzek*
Baltimore Orioles – Dillon Tate*
Boston Red Sox – Jake Diekman*
Chicago Cubs – Jason Heyward
Chicago White Sox – Liam Hendriks
Cincinnati Reds – Joey Votto
Cleveland Guardians – Triston McKenzie*
Colorado Rockies – Kyle Freeland*
Detroit Tigers – Miguel Cabrera
Houston Astros – José Altuve
Kansas City Royals – Nicky López*
Los Angeles Angels – Jared Walsh*
Los Angeles Dodgers – Justin Turner
Miami Marlins – Pablo López*
Milwaukee Brewers – Brent Suter
Minnesota Twins – Byron Buxton*
New York Mets – James McCann*
New York Yankees – Jose Trevino
Oakland Athletics – Tony Kemp
Philadelphia Phillies – Kyle Gibson
Pittsburgh Pirates – David Bednar*
San Diego Padres – Craig Stammen*
San Francisco Giants – Brandon Crawford
Seattle Mariners – Marco Gonzales*
St. Louis Cardinals – Paul Goldschmidt
Tampa Bay Rays – Brandon Lowe*
Texas Rangers – Taylor Hearn*
Toronto Blue Jays – Bo Bichette
Washington Nationals – Josh Bell
NOTE: Clubs were permitted to maintain their original nominees even after they were traded.*
As part of the annual program, each MLB Club nominates one player to be considered for the league-wide Award in tribute to Clemente’s achievements and character. This list of nominees features players whose various community and philanthropic activities have focused on important causes such as supporting underserved children & communities in the United States and around the world, supporting those with cancer and other illnesses, advocating for social justice initiatives, environmental advocacy, and more.
The league-wide winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Capital One will be selected via a blue ribbon panel, including Commissioner Manfred, representatives from Capital One, MLB-affiliated networks (MLB Network, FOX Sports, ESPN and TBS), MLB.com, as well as Roberto’s children, Enrique, Luis and Roberto Clemente, Jr. Beginning today, fans can vote for the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Capital One via mlb.com/clemente21 (English) and LasMayores.com/clemente21 (Spanish). The site will feature bios of each of the nominees and will allow fans to vote until the end of the season on Wednesday, October 5th. The winner of the fan vote will count as one vote among those cast by the blue-ribbon panel. The concept of honoring Major League players for their philanthropic work was created in 1971 as the “Commissioner’s Award.” The recognition was renamed to the “Roberto Clemente Award” in 1973 tribute to Clemente following his passing.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of when the Hall of Famer and 15-time All-Star tragically died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. As such, Major League Baseball will join the Clemente family in celebrating the decades-long legacy on Roberto Clemente Day presented by Capital One in the following ways:
- A customized tribute video to both Roberto and his wife Vera – Momentito (in English and Spanish) – will be shown in all MLB ballparks on Roberto Clemente Day as well as on MLB Network, MLB.com, Club sites and MLB Social Media Platforms.
- The Pittsburgh Pirates will play the New York Mets at Citi Field, with the game airing nationwide on FOX beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET.
- Retired players who are Roberto Clemente Award winners will be in New York to participate in a food packaging volunteer event with Rise Against Hunger at Citi Field with Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. and employees from the Commissioner’s Office and the Mets.
- The Clemente Award winners will be recognized during a special pregame ceremony that also will include members of the Clemente family.
On Roberto Clemente Day presented by Capital One, all players, managers and coaches on the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Club for which Roberto played his entire Hall of Fame career, will once again wear Roberto’s “21” on their uniforms. They will be joined by all players, managers and coaches on the Mets doing the same. Additional uniform elements include:
- All Roberto Clemente Award nominees and previous Award recipients will have the option to wear “21” on their uniforms, joining players from Puerto Rico and others who wore the number during the 2021 commemoration of Roberto Clemente Day.
- All players and on-field personnel will wear a “21” patch on their uniform sleeves, with nominees of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Capital One having language noting their recognition on their patches.
- As they have done all throughout the 2022 regular season, all active Roberto Clemente Award winners will have the “21” patch on the back of their caps in recognition of their distinction in this special fraternity.
Throughout the league, the Roberto Clemente Day presented by Capital One logo will appear on base jewels and official dugout lineup cards. Additional social media content celebrating Roberto’s legacy in the sport and recognizing the impact of the late Vera Clemente, who served as MLB’s Goodwill Ambassador, will be featured throughout the day. MLB.com and all 30 Club sites will feature Roberto Clemente Day and Award stories and content as well.
MLB Network’s Emmy-award winning “MLB Tonight” will air live from Citi Field on Roberto Clemente Day presented by Capital One on Thursday, September 15th at 6:00 p.m. ET with Fran Charles, Sean Casey and Harold Reynolds. Following the program, MLB Network will air a new “MLB Tonight: A Conversation” program at 7:00 p.m. ET hosted by Harold Reynolds and Pedro Martinez, with Roberto Clemente Award winners Albert Pujols, Derek Jeter, Jimmy Rollins, Ozzie Smith, Rod Carew, Curtis Granderson and Nelson Cruz. All the former winners will offer their thoughts on winning the award and Clemente’s legacy. The show also will feature Roberto and Vera’s son Luis.
Capital One is the presenting sponsor of both Roberto Clemente Day and the Roberto Clemente Award, the first presenting sponsor of the Award since 2015 and the first-ever sponsor of Roberto Clemente Day. Capital One’s sponsorship includes a number of factors, including the selection process for the overall Roberto Clemente Award recipient and presentation on Roberto Clemente Day across the league. The partnership builds on Capital One’s presence in baseball, which will also include the presenting sponsorship of the World Series. This also follows Capital One’s support of the Jackie Robinson Foundation and sponsorship of MLB All-Star Week (specifically Capital One PLAY BALL Park). The sponsorship aligns with Capital One’s diversity, belonging and inclusion efforts, including its celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month and broader support for the Hispanic community.
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