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Cole Hamels Named Rangers Nominee for 2017 Roberto Clemente Award

Major League Baseball today announced that pitcher Cole Hamels was named the Texas Rangers 2017 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award, the most prominent individual player award bestowed by MLB.

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.

Major League Baseball today announced that pitcher Cole Hamels was named the Texas Rangers 2017 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award, the most prominent individual player award bestowed by MLB.

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 6th marks the sixteenth 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.

Hamels is one of the 30 Club nominees for the annual award. Along with his wife Heidi, Cole established The Hamels Foundation in 2009, which has provided more than $3.9 million to help support education around the world.

Since its formation, The Hamels Foundation has taken a community-based approach to education by providing financial assistance to schools and other education based non-profits in need of support. This includes but is not limited to providing stimulating learning environments, high-quality educational programs and provisions to promote learning. Because of their commitment, Cole and Heidi underwrite all administrative expenses, so that 100% of funds raised through The Hamels Foundation go directly to support educational programs and projects. The Hamels have awarded more than $1.1 million in grant funds to schools throughout Philadelphia, over $400,000 in grants to schools in Missouri, and another $100,000 in college scholarships.

Since joining the Texas Rangers in 2015, Cole and his foundation have supported the Texas Rangers Youth Academy in Dallas by funding an educational classroom at their all-new facilities. Also, Cole has presented checks to local, low-income schools to provide a new counseling center and physical education equipment.

The commitment of Cole's work extends globally to Malawi, Africa. The Hamels Foundation has built a 16-classroom primary school that will educate more than 650 students in the Mulanje District of Malawi annually. The $2.5 million project also includes teacher housing, library, kitchen and more. Along with an education, all students receive medical treatment, vision care and daily meals.

In addition to The Hamels Foundation, Cole is involved in the community in many other ways. Annually, Cole oversees Operation 35, a charitable ticket program honoring U.S. Military Veterans and their guests with Rangers game tickets, concession coupons, special t-shirts and the opportunity for a private meet and greet with Cole prior to the game. He will also be hosting teachers for several games.

Hamels will be honored in a pre-game ceremony on Friday, September 8, when the Rangers host the New York Yankees at 7:05 p.m. at Globe Life Park in Arlington.

The Roberto Clemente Award winner will be selected among the group of nominees via a blue ribbon panel that includes individuals connected to the game, including Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr., representatives from MLB-affiliated networks (MLB Network, FOX Sports, ESPN and TBS) and MLB Advanced Media, as well as Vera Clemente, the late Roberto's wife. Beginning the day after the Regular Season ends, 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 to easily vote by clicking on the respective nominee's name. The winner of the fan voting, which will run from Monday, October 2nd through Friday, October 6th, will count as one vote among those cast by the blue ribbon panel. Additional information about fan voting will be shared via MLB.com and MLB social media channels.

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.

Texas Rangers, Cole Hamels