Major League Baseball and Chevrolet, the official vehicle of Major League Baseball, today announced that Mark Teixeira was named the New York Yankees 2012 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Today marks the eleventh annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball to honor Clemente’s legacy and to officially recognize local Club nominees of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Teixeira is one of the 30 Club finalists for the annual award, which recognizes a Major League Baseball player who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.
The Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet pays tribute to Clemente’s achievements and character by recognizing current players who truly understand the value of helping others. The Award is named for the 15-time MLB All-Star and Hall of Famer who died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
A natural and avid philanthropist, Teixeira has been involved in charitable endeavors throughout his big-league career. In 2006, Mark and his wife, Leigh, established the Mark Teixeira Charitable Fund, an initiative that awarded several scholarships to students from multiple high schools in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Three years later in 2009, he served as a spokesman for the National Foundation for Cancer Research through the organization’s “Help Strike Out Sun Damage” program.
Teixeira has been an avid supporter of Harlem RBI, a nonprofit organization in East Harlem, New York, that provides more than 1,200 boys and girls, ages 5-22, with year-round academic, sports and enrichment programs. In 2011, he made a $1 million donation to Harlem RBI and has been calling on his fans to help raise additional funds through his Dream Team 25 campaign. The fundraising campaign is helping the organization build a 45-seat public charter school facility, a new community center, 87 units of low-income housing and a rebuilt public park in the Harlem community. All are designed to serve as a model for urban development.
In addition, Teixeira, who is the Co-Chair of the organization’s $20 million Capital Campaign and the Chair of the organization’s Home Run Leadership Council, works with Major League Baseball to connect with RBI programs nationally through in-stadium appearance with fellow Major League Baseball players and supports local RBI programs around the country.
The Yankees are scheduled to recognize Teixeira’s nomination for this year’s Clemente Award with an on-field ceremony scheduled to take place tonight, prior to their 7:05 p.m. game vs. the Toronto Blue Jays.
The distinguished list of past national Roberto Clemente Award recipients includes 14 members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame:
|1971 - Willie Mays*||1985 - Don Baylor||1998 - Sammy Sosa|
|1972 - Brooks Robinson*||1986 - Garry Maddox||1999 - Tony Gwynn*|
|1973 - Al Kaline*||1987 - Rick Sutcliffe||2000 - Al Leiter|
|1974 - Willie Stargell*||1988 - Dale Murphy||2001 - Curt Schilling|
|1975 - Lou Brock*||1989 - Gary Carter*||2002 - Jim Thome|
|1976 - Pete Rose||1990 - Dave Stewart||2003 - Jamie Moyer|
|1977 - Rod Carew*||1991 - Harold Reynolds||2004 - Edgar Martinez|
|1978 - Greg Luzinski||1992 - Cal Ripken, Jr.*||2005 - John Smoltz|
|1979 - Andre Thornton||1993 - Barry Larkin||2006 - Carlos Delgado|
|1980 - Phil Niekro*||1994 - Dave Winfield*||2007 - Craig Biggio|
|1981 - Steve Garvey||1995 - Ozzie Smith*||2008 - Albert Pujols|
|1982 - Ken Singleton||1996 - Kirby Puckett*||2009 - Derek Jeter|
|1983 - Cecil Cooper||1997 - Eric Davis||2010 - Tim Wakefield|
|1984 - Ron Guidry||2011 - David Ortiz|
* Member of the Baseball Hall of Fame
Beginning today, fans are encouraged to participate in the process of selecting the national award recipient by visiting MLB.com/ClementeAward to vote for one of the 30 Club nominees. Participating fans will be automatically registered for a chance to win a trip to the 2012 World Series, where the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet will be announced. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 14th, and the winner of the fan poll will receive one vote among those cast by a selection panel.
All Clubs playing at home today will recognize their local nominees as part of Roberto Clemente Day ceremonies, while each visiting Club will honor their nominees before another September home game. As part of the league-wide celebration, the Roberto Clemente Day logo will appear on the bases and the official dugout lineup cards.