Ian Desmond named Colorado Rockies' nominee for the 2017 Roberto Clemente Award

Major League Baseball today announced that Ian Desmond was named the Rockies' 2017 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award, the most prominent individual player award bestowed by MLB.

The Roberto Clemente Award is the annual recognition of a player from each of the 30 MLB Clubs 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 current player to be considered for the Roberto Clemente Award in tribute to Clemente's achievements and character. Wednesday, September 6 marks the sixteenth annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball to honor Clemente's legacy and to officially acknowledge local Club nominees for the Roberto Clemente Award. 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.

Desmond has worked extensively to raise awareness and funds to combat Neurofibromatosis, a cause that has been a constant for him throughout his entire professional playing career. This past May, he pledged to donate $1,000 for each run he scored during the month to the Children's Tumor Foundation, and on June 15, he presented a check for $16,000 in a pregame ceremony at Coors Field to reflect his run total during the month of May. Desmond has also collaborated on a T-shirt that is being sold through Children's Tumor Foundation to raise funds, and he regularly hosts groups from the organization at batting practice.

 "Ian's contributions, both in raising awareness for Neurofibromatosis and connecting personally with those who are living with it, are inspiring to many and are exemplary of the legacy of service that Roberto Clemente left behind," said Colorado Rockies Vice President of Community & Retail Operations Jim Kellogg.

"Being nominated for this award is a tremendous honor. Roberto Clemente set an example for all players to follow that we should work just as hard to help other people as we do to be the best baseball players we can be. I hope that my nomination will also serve to bring greater awareness of Neurofibromatosis and the efforts that people are making towards finding a cure," said Desmond.

 The Roberto Clemente Award winner will be selected among the group of nominees via a blue ribbon panel that includes individuals connected to the game, including Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr., representatives from MLB-affiliated networks (MLB Network, FOX Sports, ESPN and TBS) and MLB Advanced Media, as well as Vera Clemente, the late Roberto's wife. Beginning the day after the regular season ends, fans can vote for the overall winner of the Roberto Clemente Award via a dedicated website. The site will feature bios of each of the nominees and will allow fans to easily vote by clicking on the respective nominee's name. The winner of the fan voting, which will run from Monday, October 2 through Friday, October 6, will count as one vote among those cast by the blue ribbon panel. Additional information about fan voting will be shared via MLB.com and MLB social media channels.

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

 

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

1971

Willie Mays+**

1983

Cecil Cooper

1995

Ozzie Smith+

2007

Craig Biggio+

1972

Brooks Robinson+**

1984

Ron Guidry

1996

Kirby Puckett+

2008

Albert Pujols

1973

Al Kaline+

1985

Don Baylor

1997

Eric Davis

2009

Derek Jeter

1974

Willie Stargell+

1986

Garry Maddox

1998

Sammy Sosa

2010

Tim Wakefield

1975

Lou Brock+

1987

Rick Sutcliffe

1999

Tony Gwynn+

2011

David Ortiz

1976

Pete Rose

1988

Dale Murphy

2000

Al Leiter

2012

Clayton Kershaw

1977

Rod Carew+

1989

Gary Carter+

2001

Curt Schilling

2013

Carlos Beltran

1978

Greg Luzinski

1990

Dave Stewart

2002

Jim Thome

2014

Paul Konerko *

1979

Andre Thornton

1991

Harold Reynolds

2003

Jamie Moyer

2014

Jimmy Rollins *

1980

Phil Niekro+

1992

Cal Ripken, Jr.+

2004

Edgar Martinez

2015

Andrew McCutchen

1981

Steve Garvey

1993

Barry Larkin+

2005

John Smoltz+

2016

Curtis Granderson

1982

Ken Singleton

1994

Dave Winfield+

2006

Carlos Delgado

 

 

 

+ Member of The National Baseball Hall of Fame

* Co-winner

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