Tuesday is Roberto Clemente Day, the 12th annual celebration of the Hall of Fame Pirates outfielder who died tragically providing earthquake relief in Nicaragua in 1972. On Monday all 30 MLB teams announced their nominees for the Roberto Clemente Award, and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez is the Dodgers' representative.
Fans will be allowed to vote on the award online through Oct. 6, and fan balloting will count for one vote on the selection panel for the award. The national winner will be announced during the World Series.
Clayton Kershaw won the Clemente Award in 2012. The only other Dodgers player to win the honor was Steve Garvey in 1981.
Gonzalez has been active in charity work since his days with the Padres and this season with the Dodgers he and his wife Betsy have hosted more than 600 fans at Dodger Stadium through "Adrian Gonzalez's Viva Los Dodgers Days."
He also heads The Adrian Gonzalez Scholarship program, which provides financial assistance to lower- and middle-income students with a strong balance of academics and community work. The program began in San Diego, continued in Boston and will begin in Los Angeles in 2014. There are 60 recipients of the Gonzalez scholarship currently in college, and the program's graduation rate is over 90 percent.
"I’m truly honored to be nominated for this award that pays tribute to Roberto Clemente, one of the greatest in the game who also had an extraordinary impact off the field with his philanthropic efforts," Gonzalez said in a statement. "Everyone should strive to be the type of man Clemente was and I am humbled that I am the Dodgers’ nominee for this prestigious award. It is very important to me and my wife to give back to the community and I look forward to doing so much more."
Gonzalez was also nominated by teammates for the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award, which honors performance both on the field and in the community.
"Giving back to the community has always been a cornerstone of the Dodgers organization," said Dodgers president Stan Kasten. "On behalf of the Dodgers’ organization, we commend Adrian and his wife, Betsy, for going above and beyond in assisting those in need."
The Dodgers will honor Gonzalez on the field prior to their game at Dodger Stadium against the Rockies on Saturday, Sept. 28.