Desmond Selected as Rockies Roberto Clemente Award Nominee

First baseman Ian Desmond was selected as the Rockies' 2018 nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, the most prominent individual player award bestowed by MLB.

The Roberto Clemente Award is the annual recognition of a player from each MLB Club who best represents the game of Baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.

Each Club nominates one current player to be considered for the Roberto Clemente Award in tribute to Clemente’s achievements and character. Wednesday, September 5th marks the seventeenth annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball to honor Clemente’s legacy and to officially acknowledge local Club nominees of the Roberto Clemente Award. As part of the league-wide celebration, the Roberto Clemente Day logo will appear on the bases and official dugout lineup cards and a special tribute video will be played in ballparks. Desmond is one of the 30 Club nominees for the annual award.

Throughout his career, Desmond has worked extensively to raise awareness and funds to combat Neurofibromatosis. NF is a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow along nerve tissue, including the brain and spinal cord, affecting roughly 1 in 3,000 births worldwide. After developing a close friendship with a young man who suffers from NF, Ian became an integral part of the #EndNF community. During Neurofibromatosis Awareness Month in May, Ian pledged to donate $1,000 for every run and RBI he recorded during the month. Ian and the Desmond family donated $29,000 to the Children’s Tumor Foundation as a result of his efforts on the field, besting his 2017 donation by $13,000. In addition to his work with the NF community, Ian has been a strong supporter of the children of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community in Scottsdale, Arizona, the Rockies’ Spring Training home. In March of this year, Ian, along with the backing of the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks, hosted a school supply and equipment drive. Each day of the drive, Rockies wives and Minor League players staffed the gates and collected donations. After three days of the drive, they collected over $6,000 in cash and several boxes full of gear/supplies.

“Ian demonstrates daily the importance of giving back to the community.  He is always thinking of new and creative ways to share his life experience with others, and he is a great example to younger players in the game.  I believe Mr. Clemente would be proud of the husband, father and baseball player that Ian Desmond has become in his career,” said Colorado Rockies Vice President of Community & Retail Operations Jim Kellogg.

 

“Being nominated for this award for the second straight year is a tremendous honor. Roberto Clemente continues to be an inspiration to all professional baseball players, and his legacy pushes us to be positive contributors to the communities around us and those people within them who are in need,” said Desmond.

The league-wide winner of the Roberto Clemente Award, who will be announced during the 2018 World Series, will be selected among the group of nominees via a blue ribbon panel that includes individuals connected to the game.  The blue ribbon panel includes Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr., representatives from MLB-affiliated networks (MLB Network, FOX Sports, ESPN and TBS) and MLB.com, as well as Vera Clemente (the late Roberto’s wife & MLB Goodwill Ambassador). Beginning on Roberto Clemente Day, fans can vote for the overall winner of the Roberto Clemente Award via a dedicated website. The site will feature bios of each of the nominees and will allow fans from Roberto Clemente Day on Wednesday, September 5th, until Tuesday, September 18th. The winner of the fan vote will count as one vote among those cast by the blue ribbon panel.  Fans are encouraged to vote by visiting the following link: mlb.com/clemente21.

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 in honor of the Hall of Famer and 15-time All-Star who died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. Major League Baseball has commemorated Roberto Clemente Day each September since 2002.

Year Winner Year Winner
1971 Willie Mays+** 1983 Cecil Cooper
1972 Brooks Robinson+** 1984 Ron Guidry
1973 Al Kaline+ 1985 Don Baylor
1974 Willie Stargell+ 1986 Garry Maddox
1975 Lou Brock+ 1987 Rick Sutcliffe
1976 Pete Rose 1988 Dale Murphy
1977 Rod Carew+ 1989 Gary Carter+
1978 Greg Luzinski 1990 Dave Stewart
1979 Andre Thornton 1991 Harold Reynolds
1980 Phil Niekro+ 1992 Cal Ripken, Jr.+
1981 Steve Garvey 1993 Barry Larkin+
1982 Ken Singleton 1994 Dave Winfield+
Year Winner Year Winner
1995 Ozzie Smith+ 2007 Craig Biggio+
1996 Kirby Puckett+ 2008 Albert Pujols
1997 Eric Davis 2009 Derek Jeter
1998 Sammy Sosa 2010 Tim Wakefield
1999 Tony Gwynn+ 2011 David Ortiz
2000 Al Leiter 2012 Clayton Kershaw
2001 Curt Schilling 2013 Carlos Beltrán
2002 Jim Thome+ 2014 Paul Konerko *
2003 Jamie Moyer 2014 Jimmy Rollins *
2004 Edgar Martinez 2015 Andrew McCutchen
2005 John Smoltz+ 2016 Curtis Granderson
2006 Carlos Delgado 2017 Anthony Rizzo
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