Hosmer making a difference in KC community

First baseman is Royals' 2016 Roberto Clemente Award nominee

Hosmer making a difference in KC community

KANSAS CITY -- Royals fans all know first baseman Eric Hosmer's contributions on the field.

Now, Hosmer is being recognized for his vast contributions to the Kansas City community.

Hosmer, the Most Valuable Player of this year's All-Star Game and a three-time Gold Glove winner, is this year's Royals nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award.

Voting is underway and fans are encouraged to participate in the new process of selecting the winner of the Roberto Clemente Award by posting any nominee's voting hashtags to MLB's official social media accounts, @MLB on Twitter and Facebook.com/MLB. Hosmer's official hashtag is #VoteHosmer.

Major League Baseball announced the 30 club nominees on Tuesday for the annual recognition of a player 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 player to be considered for the Roberto Clemente Award in tribute to Clemente's achievements and character by recognizing current players who truly understand the value of helping others.

Wednesday marks the 15th annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by MLB to honor Clemente's legacy and to officially acknowledge local club nominees of the Roberto Clemente Award. Clubs playing at home on Wednesday will recognize their local nominees as part of Roberto Clemente Day ceremonies. 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 original "Commissioner's Award" for philanthropic service was renamed in 1973 in honor of Clemente, 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.

Hosmer has served as a spokesman and partner of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City since 2012. Each year, he has initiated "Step Up to the Plate with Eric Hosmer" to help recruit "Bigs" for local children -- he then hosts groups of "Bigs" at Kauffman Stadium for a personal meet-and-greet session during batting practice.

Hosmer's work with Noah's Bandage Project began on a personal level, after corresponding via social media with a little boy named Noah, who was going through cancer treatments during the 2014 World Series. After meeting Noah in the hospital, Hosmer treated Noah and his family to Royals games at Kauffman Stadium. Noah's passing in June 2015 inspired Hosmer to keep Noah's legacy alive by continuing to work for his charity. Noah's Bandage Project seeks to collect boxes of kid-friendly bandages for children in hospitals and to raise money for pediatric cancer research.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.