The nominees for the 2019 Roberto Clemente Award — honoring Major League players who best represent the game through extraordinary character and commitment to community service — were announced yesterday. We’re blessed that several athletes who have partnered with Big League Impact were among those honored for what they do for their communities, locally and globally.
Each year, clubs nominate one of their players in tribute to Clemente, who shined as a humanitarian and an athlete.
Vote for the 2019 Roberto Clemente Award today!
Big League Impact Co-Founder Adam Wainwright and Vice President Kyle Gibson earned the nominations for St. Louis and Minnesota. Mets pitcher Steven Matz, Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia, A’s pitcher Liam Hendriks and Mariners infielder Dee Gordon, who have led Big League Impact campaigns or events in the past, were chosen by their teams.
Several players who are participating in the Home Plate Project (a partnership between Big League Impact, MLB and Garth Brooks’ Teammates For Kids Foundation aimed at fighting childhood food insecurity) were also nominated by their clubs: Orioles first baseman Chris Davis, Angels pitcher Andrew Heaney, Marlins third baseman Martin Prado, Brewers pitcher Chase Anderson, Pirates pitcher Trevor Williams and Blue Jays outfielder Randal Grichuk.
“It’s an honor to be nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award,” Gibson said. “He is so well-respected in the baseball community for what he stood for on and off the field. My wife and I have really enjoyed being involved in the Twin Cities community over the last 6 seasons. To be recognized for that work isn’t why we do it, but instead we hope it is able to bring some more recognition to the groups who are doing the hard work in the Twin Cities giving the help to those in need.”
Wainwright, who started Big League Impact as a fantasy football fundraiser in 2013, and his wife Jenny helped open CHIDA Hospital at IDADEE in Cap-Haitien, Haiti, along with the Pittsburgh Kids Foundation. Through fundraising efforts like the Cardinals’ All Win Campaign and Fantasy Impact, Wainwright is helping pay for operating costs, providing vital health care to those in need.
Gibson, who joined the board of Big League Impact in January, works as hard for the children of Haiti and the Twin Cities as he does on the mound for the Twins. Partnering with Help One Now, Gibson helped build a secondary school in Ferrier Village, Haiti. As part of the Twins’ All Win Campaign, Gibson has dedicated $100 for every team win to The Sheridan Story (fighting child hunger in Minnesota) and $100 for every strikeout to Tandem (a Minneapolis-based group that works with at-risk mothers and children). So far, Gibson has pledged $8,900 to The Sheridan Story and $15,100 to Tandem.
Voting for the 2019 Roberto Clemente Award ends Sept. 29, so cast your vote soon!