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.
Braun was also the Brewers' nominee in 2014. This year, he contributed $100,000 to the Brewers Community Foundation, the club's charitable arm, to support activities and programs targeted to youth recreation, scholarships and education throughout Wisconsin.
Among Braun's other endeavors, he has been a key member of Wisconsin's Make-A-Wish Foundation since 2010, granting meet and greets and hosting children at the ballpark as part of their Wish Day. Also since 2010, Braun has participated in the Habitat for Humanity Build Blitz Week in Milwaukee, and he has donated $25,000 annually to AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin (ARCW), an organization that provides more than 3,300 HIV patients the necessary services they need for long-term survival.
Since 2007, Braun has doled out $5,000 annual scholarships for Milwaukee area children whose families face financial barriers to attending college. Braun also donated $10,000 to Sharp Literacy, a program tailored to help students in grades 1-5 build reading, writing and researching skills by using the visual arts as the primary tool for learning. This year, he partnered with Sharp Literacy to create a new Summer Learning Gain Initiative, an eight-week program that challenged kids to read up to two books per month in order to win prizes.
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.