Crawford named Clemente Award nominee

September 16th, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO -- has been playing at an MVP-caliber level for the Giants this year, but he’s also making sure his impact is felt off the field.

Crawford’s commitment to various philanthropic causes earned him his first career nomination for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award, which is given annually to the “Major League player who best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.”

Crawford was recognized as the Giants’ nominee before Wednesday night’s game against the Padres at Oracle Park as part of the celebration of Roberto Clemente Day.

“It’s definitely a huge honor to be nominated for an award named after not only such a great baseball player, but such a good person off the field,” Crawford said. “He was generous with his time and money and tried to help out any way he could off the field. That’s what we try to do. If we’re in a position where we can help others, we try to do the same thing.”

Crawford and his wife, Jalynne, have lended their support to numerous charitable endeavors over the years, including the ALS Cure Project, which became the beneficiary of the annual Crawford Family Golf Tournament in 2019. Crawford’s relationship to A’s outfielder Stephen Piscotty, a fellow Pleasanton native who lost his mother, Gretchen, to ALS, helped inspire him to join the mission to find a cure for the disease.

“We try to spread it around a little bit to any project that needs a little bit of extra help, but knowing the Piscottys for a little while -- our dads were friends for a long time -- to be able to help with ALS Cure is definitely special to us,” Crawford said.

Crawford also teamed up with the Giants Community Fund to help renovate Gilman Field in San Francisco’s Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood, just blocks from where the All-Star shortstop grew up attending Giants games at Candlestick Park. That project had been in the works since Crawford signed his first six-year, $75 million extension with the Giants in November 2015, as he elected to donate a portion of his contract to the Giants Community Fund. The field renovation was completed this year, with Crawford on hand for the official unveiling in July.

“We ended up landing on the Gilman Field project because of my history growing up in the Bay Area and going to Candlestick,” Crawford said. “With Gilman Field being kind of in the shadow of Candlestick, it was kind of the perfect choice. It was nice, especially having a lot of the Junior Giants there and people from the community just thanking me for my help with putting it together. It was fun to be a part of.”

The Crawfords also collaborated with former Giant Andrew McCutchen and his wife, Maria, on a “Catch a Cure” clothing line to raise money for the Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Rady Children’s Hospital.

Wednesday marked the 20th annual Roberto Clemente Day, which will be held on Sept. 15 in perpetuity in conjunction with the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month. Clemente, the first Latin American player to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, starred for the Pirates for 18 seasons before he tragically died in a plane crash on New Year's Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.

Giants quality assurance coach Nick Ortiz, a native of Puerto Rico, presented Crawford with his Clemente Award on Wednesday and wore No. 21 in honor of his venerated countryman.