LOS ANGELES — Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez was named the club’s nominee for the 2016 Roberto Clemente Award, given annually to the player who most represents the spirit of the late Pirates Hall of Fame outfielder both on and off the field.
He will be honored on the field before the Dodgers’ series finale against the Diamondbacks on Wednesday, which is Roberto Clemente Day throughout Major League Baseball.
The winner will be announced during the World Series. For the first time, fans are a part of the voting process by posting the proper hashtag (#VoteAdrian, in this case) to Twitter or hashtag, beginning Wednesday through Sunday, Oct. 2.
Gonzalez and his wife have long been active in the community since his days with the Padres. The Adrian and Betsy Gonzalez Foundation in recent years have, among other things, awarded college scholarships to underprivileged youth, provided support to fight pediatric cancer, built athletic fields in his native Tijuana, and provided ballpark access to low-income families.
The two Dodgers who have won the national Roberto Clemente Award, which has been given out in some form or another since 1971, are Steve Garvey in 1981 and Clayton Kershaw in 2012.
As part of Roberto Clemente Day on Wednesday, all 30 teams will recognize a local hero in “Seat 21,” designated at every ballpark for the day (or if a team is on the road, when they next play at home). The Dodgers’ Seat 21 honoree is LAPD senior lead officer Gina Chovan.