Chris Archer named Tampa Bay Rays nominee for the 2015 Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet

Beginning on Roberto Clemente Day, Fans Can Vote on ChevyBaseball.com for the Overall Winner and Register for a Chance to Win a Trip to the 2015 World Series

Major League Baseball and Chevrolet, the official vehicle of MLB, today announced that Chris Archer was named the Tampa Bay Rays 2015 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet.

Wednesday, September 16th marks the fourteenth 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. Chris Archer 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.

Prior to Wednesday's game vs. the New York Yankees, the Rays will hold their Roberto Clemente Day celebration at Tropicana Field. Staff and Rays players will don Roberto Clemente Day T-shirts and all fans who donate a canned food item to Feeding Tampa Bay at the Tropicana Field gates will receive the T-shirt. Archer, who is scheduled to pitch on Wednesday, will be recognized pregame on Thursday, September 17.

In his third season with the Rays, Archer has left an impression both on the mound and in the community. Though he was named to his first All-Star Team in July, his biggest contributions have come off the field.

The 26-year-old focuses much of his efforts on helping on underserved youth. He established the Archway Foundation in an effort to empower young people to fulfill their dreams. Archway sponsors two youth baseball teams-the Archers-made up of young men who, once selected, must participate in all team activities, including required readings and community service projects. Archway also donates to Raleigh-area nonprofits and during the holiday season, the foundation provides food and gifts to local families in need.

Archer has also teamed with Good Sports, Inc., a nonprofit that helps provide athletic equipment to disadvantaged youth nationwide. Together, Archer and Good Sports have donated over $67,000 in equipment youth programs in Tampa Bay. The right-hander donates, along with the Rays and WTSP 10 News, $75 for each strikeout he records this season to the Tampa RBI program and Burg Baseball, Inc. So far this season, his 236 strikeouts have raised $17,700 for those leagues. Archer has also visited MLB RBI programs while on the road, including stops in Philadelphia, Toronto, Cleveland, Detroit and the 2015 RBI World Series in Texas.  

Archer makes frequent visits to All Children's hospital, area high schools, foster homes and the Pinellas Juvenile Detention Center, attends local recreation centers and after-school programs to read with young children as part of the "Reading with the Rays" program and headed the annual Big Brothers, Big Sisters Bowl for Kids' Sake event which raised almost $50,000 for BBBS of Tampa Bay.

"I'm thankful and honored to be the Roberto Clemente Award nominee for an organization that is so active in the community," said Archer. "Clemente embodied everything that is great about the game of baseball. To be spoken of in the same breath as him is indescribable."

The distinguished list of past Roberto Clemente Award winners includes 16 members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame:

1971 - Willie Mays+**

1972 - Brooks Robinson+**

1973 - Al Kaline+

1974 - Willie Stargell+

1975 - Lou Brock+

1976 - Pete Rose

1977 - Rod Carew+

1978 - Greg Luzinski

1979 - Andre Thornton

1980 - Phil Niekro+

1981 - Steve Garvey

1982 - Ken Singleton

1983 - Cecil Cooper

1984 - Ron Guidry

1985 - Don Baylor

1986 - Garry Maddox

1987 - Rick Sutcliffe

1988 - Dale Murphy

1989 - Gary Carter+

1990 - Dave Stewart

1991 - Harold Reynolds

1992 - Cal Ripken, Jr.+

1993 - Barry Larkin+

1994 - Dave Winfield+

1995 - Ozzie Smith+

1996 - Kirby Puckett+

1997 - Eric Davis

1998 - Sammy Sosa

1999 - Tony Gwynn+

2000 - Al Leiter

2001 - Curt Schilling

2002 - Jim Thome

2003 - Jamie Moyer

2004 - Edgar Martinez

2005 - John Smoltz+

2006 - Carlos Delgado

2007 - Craig Biggio+

2008 - Albert Pujols

2009 - Derek Jeter

2010 - Tim Wakefield

2011 - David Ortiz

2012 - Clayton Kershaw

2013 - Carlos Beltran

2014 - Paul Konerko *

2014 - Jimmy Rollins *

+ Member of The National Baseball Hall of Fame

* Co-winner

** Originally known as the Commissioner's Award (prior to 1973)

Beginning on Roberto Clemente Day, fans are encouraged to participate in the process of selecting the winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet by visiting ChevyBaseball.com, which is powered by MLB Advanced Media, to vote for one of the 30 Club nominees. Voting ends on Friday, October 9. and participating fans will be automatically registered for a chance to win a trip to the 2015 World Series, where the winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet will be announced.

Clubs playing at home on September 16th will recognize their local nominees as part of Roberto Clemente Day ceremonies, while visiting Clubs 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 official dugout lineup cards and a special tribute video will be played in ballparks. 

The concept of honoring players for their philanthropic work was created in 1971 as the "Commissioner's Award," but 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. Each September since 2002, Major League Baseball has commemorated Roberto Clemente Day.