Ties to Clemente a 'blessing' to McCutchen

Nominee for award in Bucs legend's honor humbles star center fielder

Ties to Clemente a 'blessing' to McCutchen

PITTSBURGH -- There are 29 other nominees for Major League Baseball's Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet.

But Andrew McCutchen is the only one who plays for the same team as the legendary outfielder and philanthropist.

"That does make it mean more to me," McCutchen said, "to be able to wear the same uniform. Being identified in any way with Clemente is a blessing, and I'm honored to get this nomination from the Pirates."

The 14th annual Roberto Clemente Day will be observed on Wednesday. The day of remembrance was established by MLB to honor Clemente's legacy and to officially recognize all 30 team nominees of the Clemente Award.

Cutch makes a wish come true

The honor has been presented since 1971 and will ultimately go to the player adjudged to best represent the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement. It is a way to constantly honor Clemente's achievements and character by recognizing current players who perpetuate his awareness of the value of helping others.

Somewhat ironically, of the first 44 Roberto Clemente Awards, only one has gone to a Pittsburgh player: Willie Stargell, the Great One's teammate for 11 seasons, earned the honor in 1974.

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer and on his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.