Seattle Mariners Outfielder Raul Ibañez has been nominated for Major League Baseball's highest community service honor, the 2013 Roberto Clemente Award.
Ibañez is one of 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. Ibañez will be honored during a ceremony at Safeco Field on September 23 before the Mariners vs. Kansas City Royals game. At that time, a check for $7,500 will be presented in his name to the Page Ahead Children's Literacy Program.
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. The award is named for the 15-time MLB 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.
Ibañez, who is on his third tour with the Mariners, has always been active in community programs. He was one of the co-chairs of this year's annual Mariners Care Cystic Fibrosis Golf Tournament on June 24, which raised $220,000. During his career with the Mariners, Raul has hosted the charity tournament six times. Over those years, the event has raised over $1.176 million for CF research.
Raul and his wife Tery have also been involved with the Page Ahead Children's Literacy Program that works to make books available to at-risk children throughout the state of Washington. In addition to personal donations, Raul and Tery hosted an assembly for local at-risk students and helped Page Ahead distribute books to each student. They also read to the students in both English and Spanish.
Ibañez has also served as spokesman for the Mariners Refuse to Abuse® partnership with the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and is an active participant in Make-A-Wish®, which grants wishes to kids with life-threatening medical conditions.
Over his career, Raul has supported a number of local charities and non-profits including Boys & Girls Clubs, Seattle Children's Hospital, Esperanza, Volunteers of America, Teammates For Kids Foundation, Olive Crest, Treehouse, Canine Companions For Independence, Covenant House Pennsylvania, and Project H.O.M.E.
Raul was the Mariners nominee and local winner for the Roberto Clemente Award for three consecutive seasons from 2006-2008. In 2006, Raul was named by the Sporting News as one of the "Good Guys" in sports and was a nominee for the Major League Baseball Players Association's "Heart & Hustle" Award. In 2011, as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies, Ibañez received the Tug McGraw Good Guy Award from the Philadelphia chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Beginning tomorrow on Roberto Clemente Day, fans are encouraged to participate in the process of selecting the national Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet recipient by visiting ChevyBaseball.com, which is powered by MLB Advanced Media, to vote for one of the 30 Club nominees. Voting ends on Sunday, October 6th and participating fans will be automatically registered for a chance to win a trip to the 2013 World Series, where the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet will be announced.
The winner of the fan vote will receive one vote among those cast by the selection panel of dignitaries, which includes Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig; MLB Goodwill Ambassador and wife of Roberto Clemente, Vera Clemente; Hall of Fame Broadcaster and the "Spanish Voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers" Jaime Jarrin; MLB Network analysts and former Roberto Clemente Award winners Al Leiter and Harold Reynolds; Hall of Famer and TBS analyst Dennis Eckersley; TBS analyst Buck Martinez; Hall of Famer, ESPN analyst and former Roberto Clemente Award winner Barry Larkin; ESPN analyst and former Roberto Clemente Award winner Rick Sutcliffe; MLB.com senior correspondent Hal Bodley; Mike Weidman, National Promotions Manager with Chevrolet; and others.
Clubs playing at home on September 17th will recognize their local nominees as part of Roberto Clemente Day ceremonies, while visiting Clubs will honor their nominees before another September home game. As part of the league-wide celebration, the Roberto Clemente Day logo will appear on the bases and the official dugout lineup cards.