Judge wins 2023 Clemente Award: 'It's just the beginning'

October 31st, 2023

“All Rise” for , the 2023 recipient of the Roberto Clemente Award.

The Yankees captain received the prestigious honor on Monday. It annually recognizes a Major League player who best represents baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, on and off the field.

Judge was in attendance for a ceremony held prior to Game 3 of the World Series at Arizona’s Chase Field.

"Just being a nominee is an incredible honor that a lot of players look forward to. Now getting a chance to be a Roberto Clemente Award winner, it's tough to describe," Judge said. "The legacy [Clemente] left -- we can sit here and talk about the stats, what he did on the field. He was a generational talent on the field, but he was a generational ambassador for this game off the field."

As part of the annual program, each Major League club nominates one player to be considered for the league-wide award in tribute to Clemente’s achievements and character.

Judge has said that he aims to model his on-field play after Clemente’s, citing the Hall of Famer’s legacy on both sides of the ball.

"He took pride in not only what he did offensively, but he took more pride in what he did defensively," Judge said. "He set the standard for what it was to be a complete player."

In 2018, Judge founded the Aaron Judge ALL RISE Foundation, which focuses on inspiring young people to become responsible citizens in the Bronx, San Joaquin County (Calif.) and Fresno County (Calif.) -- communities that are near and dear to his heart.

ALL RISE also looks to honor those who have had a positive influence on children, while creating a legacy to continue to guide future generations. Through various programs and initiatives, ALL RISE has supported more than 2,000 young people in its communities of focus, encouraging them to reach unlimited possibilities.

In 2023, Bridge2College and NYC Autism Charter Schools (NYCACS) both received support from ALL RISE through its mini-grant program, which to date has supported 26 community-based organizations, public and private agencies and faith-based organizations.

Additionally, the mission of inspiring youth to reach their dreams continues to be reflected via ALL RISE’s Aspiring Leaders program. With an emphasis on the core components of leadership, citizenship, character development and community involvement, the Aspiring Leaders program aims to create a path for future generations to become responsible citizens in society.

“That is an unbelievable list of accomplishments,” said Commissioner Rob Manfred. “Aaron, you are -- like so many of your fellow players -- a real credit to our game.”

Last July, Judge joined several of his teammates for a visit to the Clemente Museum in Pittsburgh. They had an opportunity to hold one of Clemente’s game-used bats, and Judge -- who normally swings a 35-inch, 33-ounce model -- was impressed by the heft of Clemente’s 36-inch, 38-ounce lumber.

The museum offered Judge a replica, which he used the next day during batting practice.

“It’s pretty impressive he was able to swing something like this and produce the numbers he did,” Judge said then.

Judge is the first Yankee to receive the Clemente Award since Derek Jeter in 2009. Don Baylor (1985) and Ron Guidry ('84) have also been honored while playing for the Yankees.

"The work that we have accomplished with the help of my family, especially my mom [Patty], and the lives we've touched, it's just the beginning," Judge said. "This is just another step along the way. I'm looking forward to helping more kids along the way."