Today is the 20th annual Roberto Clemente Day league-wide, honoring the Pittsburgh Pirates right fielder’s life and commitment to philanthropy. Clemente played for 18 seasons with the Pirates until tragically losing his life in a plane crash delivering supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua in 1972. Clemente’s on-field achievements were so vast (13 time All-Star, NL MVP, 12 time consecutive Gold Glove winner, and the list goes on), that the National Baseball Hall of Fame changed its rules to induct him early.
The Roberto Clemente Award “is bestowed annually to the player who best represents the game of Baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.” Justin Turner has received the Los Angeles Dodgers nomination for this year and teammate Max Scherzer has received this year’s nomination for the Washington Nationals. From MLB.com:
Turner is the Dodgers’ nominee for the award for the fourth time in the last five years (2017-18, ’20-21).
“During his time in Los Angeles, the native Angeleno has become ingrained in the community, giving his time, energy and financial support to a variety of charitable efforts, including the Justin Turner Foundation (JTF), which he founded in 2016 with his wife, Kourtney. The Foundation’s official mission is to support homeless veterans, children (and their families) battling life-altering illnesses and diseases, and various youth baseball organizations, though that encompasses only a fraction of the Turners’ impact and dedication to serving the community.
Justin and Kourtney have provided life-changing support for hundreds of Angelenos who depend on the resources of The Dream Center, which is located only a few blocks from Dodger Stadium and focuses on providing support to those affected by homelessness, hunger and the lack of education through residential and community outreach programs. Justin has been instrumental in the Dream Center’s programming for veterans and helped support the opening of their Women Veterans Program in 2018. JTF also recently donated $100,000 to the Dream Center to cover the annual budget of its Foster Care Intervention program, which provides essential resources for families throughout Los Angeles. JTF partnered with the Dream Center throughout the Covid-19 pandemic to assist with its drive-thru and walk-up food & essentials line, which not only provided 900,000 meals during the 82-day effort but also supported small businesses with the bulk orders placed by the Turners at local restaurants for the meal service. As a permanent sign of their involvement with the Dream Center, its food bank was recently renamed The Justin & Kourtney Turner Food Bank and currently supplies food for over 60 local food banks.”
Read the full statement here, see all the nominees, and cast your vote! Fans can place their votes now through October 3rd, 2021.
- Jay Jaffe has more on what’s left of the Wild Card race over at FanGraphs and it’s a bit of a mess in both divisions. The rest of September baseball promises to be a fun ride.
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