NEW YORK -- Kevin Pillar has been named the Blue Jays' nominee for the annual Robert Clemente Award, which recognizes a player who best represents the game through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.
Pillar was nominated for the work that he has done with the Blue Jays and Jays Care Foundation. He has become an annual participant in Toronto's Winter Tour across Canada and has been active with educational and health and wellness initiatives throughout the city.
• Vote on social media for Roberto Clemente Award
Fans are encouraged to participate in the new process of selecting the winner of the Roberto Clemente Award by posting any nominee's voting hashtag to MLB's official social media accounts, @MLB on Twitter and Facebook.com/MLB. Pillar's hashtag is #VotePillar.
"It's incredibly humbling to be nominated for this award amidst a group of such talented players doing great things both on and off the baseball field," Pillar said. "I'm fortunate to play for a team that plays for an entire country, and I'm proud to be in a position to bring a smile to so many faces that cheer us on each and every day."
Some of Pillar's recent visits include a stop at Alberta Children's Hospital, Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario and the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital.
Major League Baseball announced the 30 club nominees on Tuesday for the annual recognition of a player who best represents the game 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.
Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.