Hendriks nominated for Clemente Award

A's reliever works on behalf of poverty, animal charities

Hendriks nominated for Clemente Award

OAKLAND -- A's reliever Liam Hendriks has been named the A's nominee for the 2017 Roberto Clemente Award, which recognizes players whose work extends well beyond the field through community endeavors.

Hendriks and his wife, Kristi, spend much of their time doing work on behalf of Striking Out Poverty and Adam Wainwright's Big League Impact, hoping to alleviate poverty in the Dominican Republic, where he played winter ball in 2014. The Hendriks also offer significant charitable contributions to animal rescue foundations.

"You don't go into the season thinking about any award or anything like that," Hendriks said. "I went into the season hoping to try to just put my best foot forward off the field. I think we've been given such a platform that our voice carries a lot further than some.

"Getting the recognition means that we're doing a pretty good job, so we'll keep moving forward and hopefully make it bigger and better for years to come."

Hendriks helped design a Striking Out Poverty T-shirt to raise funds and he is raising money through an online campaign, with supporters pledging $100 per strikeout and $200 per walk this season.

Hendriks entered Tuesday with 70 strikeouts, one shy of his career high, and 23 walks. Already, he's raised $40,000 for Striking Out Poverty, not including his own allotment.

"There are ups and downs with every season, and my season's been along those lines," said Hendriks, who also participates in several A's Community Fund events, "so there's been a lot more ups off the field."

Hendriks and his wife, parents to two cats and three dogs, along with a foster dog right now, are heavily involved with Players for Pits, as well as Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation, Paw Town Rescue, Remember Me Thursday, and several other animal charities.

When the pitcher was introduced to the Dominican Republic, "you go through a couple areas where it's just poverty stricken," he said, "and it breaks your heart, because you're going through these places where you're told not to drink the water."

The Hendrikses have set out to change that, wanting to ensure clean drinking water for these communities. They're not only hoping to visit the area this offseason but to make it an annual event.

"We're just trying to raise awareness," he said. "Regardless of what I'm trying to do on the field, we're just trying to raise awareness, because me talking to this person, that person talking to another person, it just spreads like a wildfire, and the more people that know about it, the more we can do to help."

The Roberto Clemente Award winner will be selected by a panel that includes people connected to the game, including Commissioner Rob Manfred, representatives from MLB-affiliated networks and MLB Advanced Media, and Vera Clemente, wife of the late Roberto.

Fans will be able to vote from Oct. 2-6 for the overall Roberto Clemente Award winner. The voting page 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 balloting will count as one vote among those cast by the blue-ribbon panel.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.