Major League Baseball today announced that Justin Turner was named the Los Angeles Dodgers' 2018 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award, the most prominent individual player award bestowed by MLB. Turner, who was selected as the Dodgers' nominee for a second consecutive season, will be honored in a pregame
Major League Baseball today announced that Justin Turner was named the Los Angeles Dodgers' 2018 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award, the most prominent individual player award bestowed by MLB. Turner, who was selected as the Dodgers' nominee for a second consecutive season, will be honored in a pregame ceremony prior to tomorrow's Dodgers-Mets game.
The Roberto Clemente Award is the annual recognition of a player from each MLB Club who best represents the game of Baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.
Each Club nominates one current player to be considered for the Roberto Clemente Award in tribute to Clemente's achievements and character. Wednesday, September 5 marks the seventeenth annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball to honor Clemente's legacy and to officially acknowledge local Club nominees of the Roberto Clemente Award. As part of the league-wide celebration, the Roberto Clemente Day logo will appear on the bases and official dugout lineup cards and a special tribute video will be played in ballparks.
Justin Turner is one of the 30 Club nominees for the annual award. Since joining the Dodgers in 2014, Turner has been a pillar of the team's community efforts, giving his time, energy and financial support to a variety of charitable efforts throughout the greater Los Angeles area.
In 2016, he founded the Justin Turner Foundation, whose mission is to support homeless veterans and children (and their families) battling life-altering illnesses. This past offseason, Turner hosted his 3rd annual Justin Turner Golf Classic in his efforts to support the Dream Center's Veterans Program. Through his efforts, the Dream Center is able to house and mentor over 26 veterans and also recently opened its Women Veteran Program, which provides support, job & skill training, mentoring, outreach opportunities, classroom-based instruction, employment resources and benefit assistance at its 18-bed transitional housing program.
Additionally, since its founding, the Justin Turner Foundation has provided over 10,000 toys and 2,000 bicycles to children in the Los Angeles area through its holiday giving efforts. Turner also partners with the 17Strong Foundation, founded by Ryan Teixeira and carried on by his family and loved ones, which is built on giving patients that are recovering from a life-altering illness a victory trip of their choice. Turner is also currently working with the Yokota Air Base in Fussa, Japan to help create a baseball league for U.S. military children whose parents are serving in the military.
During his time with the club, Turner has been an ardent supporter of the Dodgers' community efforts, from volunteering at youth clinics and soup kitchens to serving as spokesman for Vision to Learn, a partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation that provides free eye exams and glasses to schoolchildren in underserved communities. He's also been the Dodgers' player representative in support of MLB programming, including Play Ball and National PLAY Campaign events. Turner serves as the spokesman for the club's Military Appreciation Night and when the Dodgers honor a Military Hero of the Game each night, Turner can be found next to the dugout rail, greeting the service man or woman to present them with an extra-memorable experience. Additionally, each year he's been with the Dodgers, Turner has supported AM 570's annual Radio-a-Thon by appearing in studio and taking pledges to raise money for the Paralyzed Veterans of America on Veterans Day.
"Being nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award is not something that I take lightly, and I'm extremely proud and honored to be included among this special group of nominees from around the league," said Dodger third baseman Justin Turner. "My wife Kourtney and I realize how blessed we are to have this platform, and are determined to use it to give back to the community and fans that have been so supportive of us."
"Justin is a great representative of what a Dodger should be with incredible leadership and determination both on the field and in the community, and we're proud to nominate him for the Clemente Award," said Naomi Rodriguez, Dodger Vice President of External Affairs and Community Relations. "Justin, Kourtney and the Justin Turner Foundation are irreplaceable civic assets, and we're grateful for their tireless work to better the lives of service men and women, veterans, underserved youth, and families battling life-altering illnesses."
The league-wide winner of the Roberto Clemente Award, who will be announced during the 2018 World Series, will be selected among the group of nominees via a blue ribbon panel that includes individuals connected to the game. The blue ribbon panel includes Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr., representatives from MLB-affiliated networks (MLB Network, FOX Sports, ESPN and TBS) and MLB.com, as well as Vera Clemente (the late Roberto's wife & MLB Goodwill Ambassador). Beginning on Roberto Clemente Day, fans can vote for the overall winner of the Roberto Clemente Award via a dedicated website. The site will feature bios of each of the nominees and will allow fans from Roberto Clemente Day on Wednesday, September 5th, until Tuesday, September 18th. The winner of the fan vote will count as one vote among those cast by the blue ribbon panel. Fans are encouraged to vote by visiting the following link: mlb.com/clemente21.
The concept of honoring Major League players for their philanthropic work was created in 1971 as the "Commissioner's Award." The recognition was renamed to the "Roberto Clemente Award" in 1973 in honor of 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. Major League Baseball has commemorated Roberto Clemente Day each September since 2002.