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.