Ian Kennedy named San Diego Padres' nominee for the 2014 Roberto Clemente Award

Major League Baseball and Chevrolet, the official vehicle of MLB, today announced that Ian Kennedy was named the San Diego Padres' 2014 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Kennedy 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.

Each Club nominates one player to be considered for the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet in an effort to pay tribute to Clemente's achievements and character by recognizing current players who truly understand the value of helping others. Tomorrow marks the 13th 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 and to honor Clemente's legacy. The 15-time MLB All-Star and Hall of Famer died in a plane crash on New Year's Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.

Ian Kennedy has experienced first-hand the challenges that military families face. Ian's brother-in-law serves in the United States Navy, and Ian has seen the impact that multiple deployments have made on his family. 

San Diego is home to the largest concentration of active-duty military. This season Ian and his wife, Allison, were committed to thanking military families and showing them how much their service is appreciated, with an evening at the ballpark. On five separate dates in 2014 Ian and Allison personally hosted families assigned to deployed Naval ships. The experience begins with a personal meet-and-greet on the field with Ian. He visits with each member of the group, typically consisting of four or five families, signs autographs, takes pictures and gives them each a bag filled with Padres memorabilia.   After the visit, the group stays on the field to watch Padres batting practice from behind home plate.

At the conclusion of batting practice, the group is escorted to their fully-catered suite (all expenses personally paid by the Kennedys) to enjoy the evening's game. During the game the families are welcomed on our FriarVision, highlighted and thanked for their service. Allison joins the families for each game, allowing her to personally thank each of them for the sacrifices they make.

On July 2, the Padres hosted a Care Package Stuffing Party in partnership with Mercury Insurance. Nearly 100 volunteers assembled 1,000 backpacks which were sent to Marines and Sailors from a local military base deployed in Afghanistan. As the event concluded, Ian visited with the volunteers, thanking them for their time, signing autographs and taking pictures.

The Padres will recognize Ian as part of the pregame ceremony on Wednesday, September 17.

"Since joining the Padres, Ian has made a tremendous impact - not only on the field, but also in the San Diego Community," said Padres Executive Chairman Ron Fowler. "A Southern California native with a strong family connection to the military, Ian understands the importance of the military community to this region. Like the Padres, he takes great pride in recognizing and thanking our service men and women and their families. He is an exceptional role model for younger players."

"In San Diego, we are fortunate to be able to support our military service members, but we are given the unique opportunity to serve deployed service members' families whose sacrifice for our country is equally as great," said Kennedy. "My wife and I believe 'to whom much is given, much is required.' Treating these families to an evening at the baseball game pales in comparison to the blessings we receive every day from their collaborative service to our country."

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

1971

Willie Mays+**

1982

Ken Singleton

1993

Barry Larkin+

2004

Edgar Martinez

1972

Brooks Robinson+**

1983

Cecil Cooper 

1994

Dave Winfield+

2005

John Smoltz

1973

Al Kaline+

1984

Ron Guidry

1995

Ozzie Smith+

2006

Carlos Delgado

1974

Willie Stargell+

1985

Don Baylor

1996

Kirby Puckett+

2007

Craig Biggio

1975

Lou Brock+

1986

Garry Maddox

1997

Eric Davis

2008

Albert Pujols

1976

Pete Rose

1987

Rick Sutcliffe

1998

Sammy Sosa

2009

Derek Jeter

1977

Rod Carew+

1988

Dale Murphy

1999

Tony Gwynn+

2010

Tim Wakefield

1978

Greg Luzinski

1989

Gary Carter+

2000

Al Leiter

2011

David Ortiz

1979

Andre Thornton

1990

Dave Stewart

2001

Curt Schilling

2012

Clayton Kershaw

1980

Phil Niekro+

1991

Harold Reynolds

2002

Jim Thome

2013

Carlos Beltran

1981

Steve Garvey

1992

Cal Ripken, Jr.+

2003

Jamie Moyer

   

+ Member of the Baseball Hall of Fame

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

Beginning tomorrow, fans are encouraged to participate in the process of selecting the national Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet recipient by visiting ChevyBaseball.com, which is powered by MLB Advanced Media, to vote for one of the 30 Club nominees. Voting ends on Sunday, October 6th and participating fans will be automatically registered for a chance to win a trip to the 2014 World Series, where the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet will be announced.

The winner of the fan vote will receive one vote among those cast by the selection panel of dignitaries, which includes Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig; MLB Chief Operating Officer Rob Manfred; MLB Goodwill Ambassador and wife of Roberto Clemente, Vera Clemente; and representatives from Chevrolet, MLB Network, MLB.com, ESPN, FOX Sports and TBS, among others. 

Clubs playing at home on September 17th will recognize their local nominees as part of Roberto Clemente Day ceremonies, while visiting Clubs 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.