Major League Baseball and Chevrolet, the official vehicle of Major League Baseball, today announced that Matt Holliday was named the Cardinals' 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. Holliday 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.
“Matt Holliday is a true team player in every sense of the word.” said Michael Hall, Vice President of Community Relations and Executive Director of Cardinals Care. “On the field, Matt displays leadership, maximum effort and achievement, but what’s more impressive is Matt’s commitment to his family and community off the field.”
Since permanently moving his family to St. Louis, Matt Holliday has made positive contributions to the community both on and off the field. He and his wife Leslee have spent the last four years raising money, making personal donations and providing wishes to children through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, oftentimes privately hosting and escorting kids through the clubhouse. This season, Holliday and teammate David Freese teamed up for Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital’s “Homers for Health” to help fund ongoing research and hospital programs that benefit children. Holliday also helped raise $250,000 through the Matt Holliday Celebrity Golf Tournament in support of the Pujols Family Foundation. Each dollar raised goes directly towards the treatment and care for individuals with Down Syndrome and funds programs to aid children in the Dominican Republic. In addition, Holliday serves as the Cardinals Kids Club spokesman, raises money for the team’s charitable foundation Cardinals Care, and makes unannounced visits to local children’s hospitals to surprise kids who need a smile.
Holliday will accept his award nomination tonight in a ceremony on the field prior to the 7:15 p.m. game at Busch Stadium.
The distinguished list of national Roberto Clemente Award recipients includes 13 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 Baseball Hall of Fame
Beginning today, fans are encouraged to participate in the process of selecting the award recipient by visiting MLB.com/ClementeAward to vote for one of the 30 Club nominees. 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.