Kipnis named Indians’ nominee for the 2012 Roberto Clemente Award

Major League Baseball and Chevrolet, the official vehicle of Major League Baseball, today announced that Jason Kipnis was named the Cleveland Indians’ 2012 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Today marks the eleventh annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball to honor Clemente’s legacy and to officially recognize local Club nominees of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Kipnis is one of the 30 Club finalists for the annual award, which recognizes a Major League Baseball player who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.

The Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet pays tribute to Clemente’s achievements and character by recognizing current players who truly understand the value of helping others. The Award is named for the 15-time MLB All-Star and Hall of Famer who died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. 

Jason Kipnis has volunteered a significant amount of time to Cleveland Indians Charities since joining the Indians in July 2011. The organization provides the opportunity to create and execute youth educational and recreational opportunities. These programs help young people learn to play the game of baseball, develop necessary life skills, learn responsibility, and develop confidence to face today’s hurdles. Kipnis is also spokesman for the team’s annual season-long Glove Drive, which collects gloves and baseball equipment that impacts thousands of youth baseball and softball players in the Cleveland Baseball Federation

Kipnis will be recognized in a pre-game ceremony before tonight’s game against the Minnesota Twins. The ceremony will include the presentation of a $7,500 donation by Chevrolet to Cleveland Indians Charities.

“Jason’s personalities on the field and off the field have made him a fan favorite in a short time,” said Steve Frohwerk, Director of Cleveland Indians Charities. “During Spring Training, he visited with cancer patients and made hospital visits with teammates.  Throughout the season, he takes the time daily to sign autographs, greet groups at the ballpark, and chat with kids who are that day’s Honorary Bat Kid.”

The distinguished list of past national Roberto Clemente Award recipients includes 14 members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame:

1971 - Willie Mays* 1985 - Don Baylor 1998 - Sammy Sosa
1972 - Brooks Robinson* 1986 - Garry Maddox 1999 - Tony Gwynn*
1973 - Al Kaline* 1987 - Rick Sutcliffe 2000 - Al Leiter
1974 - Willie Stargell* 1988 - Dale Murphy 2001 - Curt Schilling
1975 - Lou Brock* 1989 - Gary Carter* 2002 - Jim Thome
1976 - Pete Rose 1990 - Dave Stewart 2003 - Jamie Moyer
1977 - Rod Carew* 1991 - Harold Reynolds 2004 - Edgar Martinez
1978 - Greg Luzinski 1992 - Cal Ripken, Jr.* 2005 - John Smoltz
1979 - Andre Thornton 1993 - Barry Larkin 2006 - Carlos Delgado
1980 - Phil Niekro* 1994 - Dave Winfield* 2007 - Craig Biggio
1981 - Steve Garvey 1995 - Ozzie Smith* 2008 - Albert Pujols
1982 - Ken Singleton 1996 - Kirby Puckett* 2009 - Derek Jeter
1983 - Cecil Cooper 1997 - Eric Davis 2010 - Tim Wakefield
1984 - Ron Guidry   2011 - David Ortiz

* Member of the Baseball Hall of Fame

Beginning today, fans are encouraged to participate in the process of selecting the national award recipient by visiting MLB.com/ClementeAward to vote for one of the 30 Club nominees. Participating fans will be automatically registered for a chance to win a trip to the 2012 World Series, where the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet will be announced. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 14th, and the winner of the fan poll will receive one vote among those cast by a selection panel.

All Clubs playing at home today will recognize their local nominees as part of Roberto Clemente Day ceremonies, while each visiting Club 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 the official dugout lineup cards.