Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Clayton Kershaw Is Dodgers 2011 Roberto Clemente Award Nominee

From the Dodgers -

Fans can vote for the National Award Recipient on ChevyBaseball.com/Clemente and Register for a Chance to Win a Trip to the 2011 World Series

LOS ANGELES – Major League Baseball and Chevrolet, the official vehicle of Major League Baseball, today announced that Clayton Kershaw was named the Dodgers’ 2011 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Kershaw 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. Tomorrow will mark the 10th 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.

The Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet pays tribute to Clemente’s achievements and character by recognizing current players who truly understand the value of helping others. It is named for the 12-time All-Star and Hall of Famer who died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.

Kershaw’s charitable work has been focused on an organization called Arise Africa, which raises money to help build orphanages in Zambia. Clayton made a special visit to that African nation this past offseason with his wife, Ellen, who has made six trips to the impoverished country. Upon his return, Kershaw came up with the idea to donate $100 per strikeout to the organization in the hopes of building another orphanage for the kids. To date, the Texas native leads the National League with 231 strikeouts and “Kershaw’s Challenge” (www.kershawschallenge.com) has raised $47,530 to the charity.

In addition to his efforts abroad, Kershaw is also a strong supporter of the Dodgers Dream Foundation and this year he attended the annual bowling tournament hosted by his teammate, James Loney, spoke to the Dodgers Dream Foundation Youth Baseball Camp and took part in a photo shoot for our the Heart Gallery Calendar which helps finds homes for Foster Children. He also attended a video game party at Dodger Stadium for a group of children with the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program.

In addition, Kershaw acted to help families in need of disaster relief following the tsunami in Japan, the tornado in Alabama and the tornado that devastated Joplin, Mo. Following each of these natural disasters, Kershaw and several of his teammates signed autographs to raise money for people in need of shelter, supplies or medical care.  

On the field, Kershaw has been exemplary as well, fortifying his case for the 2011 Cy Young Award each time out. In addition to leading the National League in strikeouts, the left-hander currently leads the Major Leagues in ERA (2.36) and ranks second in the NL in wins (18) and opponents’ batting average (.210). In his last trip to the mound, Kershaw became the first Dodger hurler since 2000 to win 18 games in a season and will still have three more starts in his quest for 20 victories this year, beginning tomorrow night.

The distinguished list of national Roberto Clemente Award recipients includes 13 members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame:

1971    Willie Mays*               1985    Don Baylor                 1999    Tony Gwynn*
1972    Brooks Robinson*      1986    Garry Maddox            2000    Al Leiter
1973    Al Kaline*                   1987    Rick Sutcliffe              2001    Curt Schilling
1974    Willie Stargell*           1988    Dale Murphy               2002    Jim Thome
1975    Lou Brock*                 1989    Gary Carter*               2003    Jamie Moyer
1976    Pete Rose                    1990    Dave Stewart              2004    Edgar Martinez
1977    Rod Carew*                1991    Harold Reynolds         2005    John Smoltz
1978    Greg Luzinski             1992    Cal Ripken, Jr.*          2006    Carlos Delgado
1979    Andre Thornton          1993    Barry Larkin                2007    Craig Biggio
1980    Phil Niekro*                1994    Dave Winfield*          2008   Albert Pujols
1981    Steve Garvey              1995    Ozzie Smith*              2009   Derek Jeter
1982    Ken Singleton             1996    Kirby Puckett*            2010   Tim Wakefield
1983    Cecil Cooper               1997    Eric Davis
1984    Ron Guidry                 1998    Sammy Sosa              

* Member of Baseball Hall of Fame

Beginning tomorrow, fans are encouraged to participate in the process of selecting the national award recipient by visiting www.chevybaseball.com/clemente, a site powered by MLB.com and created specifically for the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet platform, to vote for one of the 30 Club nominees. Voting ends on Oct. 9 and participating fans will be automatically registered for a chance to win a trip to the 2011 World Series, where the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet will be announced.

The winner of the fan poll will receive one vote among those cast by the selection panel, which includes Commissioner Selig; Vera Clemente, MLB Goodwill Ambassador and wife of the late Hall of Famer; Baseball Hall of Famer, TBS analyst and former Roberto Clemente Award winner Cal Ripken, Jr.; MLB Network analyst, TBS broadcaster and former Roberto Clemente Award winner John Smoltz; MLB Network analysts and former Roberto Clemente Award winner Al Leiter and Harold Reynolds; and MLB.com senior correspondent Hal Bodley.

The Dodgers will recognize Kershaw’s nomination on Thursday, Sept. 15, prior to their home game with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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