SAN FRANCISCO - Paul Konerko, the newly retired great of the Chicago White Sox, and Jimmy Rollins of the Philadelphia Phillies today were named co-winners of the 2014 Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Konerko and Rollins were honored by Major League Baseball at a press conference prior to Game Three of the World Series at AT&T Park. This is the first time in the Award's history that it has been presented to two winners in one year.
"Paul Konerko and Jimmy Rollins are two of baseball's great ambassadors and have long distinguished themselves as leaders both on the field and in their communities," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. "Their commitment to making a difference in the lives of children is a wonderful reflection of the legacy the legendary Roberto Clemente has left on our game and in society. Major League Baseball is proud to honor Jimmy and Paul, two veteran standouts who have represented the National Pastime with excellence, with our game's most prestigious recognition."
The Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet recognizes Major League Baseball players who best represent the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement. The annual Award pays tribute to Roberto Clemente's achievements and character by recognizing current players who truly understand the value of helping others. It is named for the Hall of Famer and 15-time All-Star who died in a plane crash on New Year's Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
Vera Clemente said: "This Award represents everything Roberto stood for as a 'good Samaritan.' Through the Roberto Clemente Award, today's players are recognized for these same qualities, and Paul and Jimmy's contributions are particularly impressive. Roberto played his entire career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and with Paul and Jimmy having each played 15 or more years with the same team, they have taken advantage of that continuity to make significant and lasting contributions in their communities. Our family is proud to add them to the family of Roberto Clemente Award winners."
Konerko and Rollins were selected from a list of 30 Club nominees by a panel of dignitaries that included Commissioner Selig; MLB Chief Operating Officer Rob Manfred; MLB Goodwill Ambassador and wife of Roberto Clemente, Vera Clemente; Hall of Fame Broadcaster and the "Spanish Voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers" Jaime Jarrin; MLB Network analysts and former Roberto Clemente Award winners Al Leiter, Harold Reynolds (also of FOX Sports) and John Smoltz (also of FOX Sports); ESPN analysts and former Roberto Clemente Award winners Rick Sutcliffe and Hall of Famer Barry Larkin; FOX Sports Broadcaster Joe Buck; TBS analysts Ron Darling (also of MLB Network) and Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley; MLB.com senior correspondent Hal Bodley; National Promotions Manager with Chevrolet Mike Weidman; and others.