Clemente Award nominee Goldy learned from family

September 14th, 2023

This story was excerpted from John Denton’s Cardinals Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

Long before he was a Major League Baseball star, the reigning MVP of the National League and a perennial pick as a nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award,  was learning right and wrong and the merits of giving back to others from his parents, David and Kim Goldschmidt.

Everything the Cardinals first baseman knows about helping others was learned from the mentors in his life.

“As a kid, the values my parents taught me and my brothers was with the way that they lived their life,” Goldschmidt said before a recent game. “So, I think it started early on. I remember volunteering at different things as a kid and that kind of set the precedent for us. It continued up to [the start of his MLB career] and definitely when I got to Arizona, I saw what a lot of the veteran players were doing, and what they were doing off the field to help people, and I said to myself, ‘That's what I need to be doing.’ From there, I just kind of continued on, always trying to help as many people as I could.”

Goldschmidt’s purpose to help others led to him being a team nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award for the eighth time in his 13-year MLB career. Goldschmidt also credits past Clemente Award winners on the Cardinals -- Adam Wainwright (2020), Yadier Molina (2018) and Albert Pujols (2008) -- for helping to set the expectations of players doing what they can to help others in the St. Louis community and throughout Missouri.

Carlos Beltran (2013), Ozzie Smith (1995) and Lou Brock (1975) are also former Clemente Award winners while playing for the Cardinals, giving them the most service awards of any MLB Club.

“I saw guys in Arizona doing a lot of stuff away from the field, and I knew I'd have an opportunity to do something like that if my career continued,” Goldschmidt said of his long history of philanthropy with the Diamondbacks and Cardinals. “I was able to come over here [to St. Louis] and do the same thing. Guys who were a lot better than me were doing it and I was able to help out with what they're doing, and a lot of guys have supported stuff I've done here, too.

"Those guys have definitely set the standard, and we all do what we're taught. It's, again, never about trying to win an award. I'm just trying to do my part and help people and treat them the way I want to be treated.”

As in the past, Goldschmidt’s philanthropic efforts are numerous and far-reaching. Rather than start his own charity, he and wife, Amy, assist a wide array of charitable causes behind the scenes. Goldschmidt joined Wainwright in charitable efforts through the veteran pitcher’s foundation, Big League Impact (BLI). Beginning in 2021, he has participated in the #ALLWIN campaign, pledging dollars for causes close to his heart and by asking fans to join him in giving.

This past year, Goldschmidt raised $50,000 for Habitat for Humanity St. Louis, an organization that provides an opportunity for families living in substandard rental housing to help build and then purchase a home they can afford to maintain. Last Thanksgiving, Tekeira, 11-year-old daughter Patience and 9-year-old son Major were able to move into the home that Goldschmidt and others helped to build for them.

Goldschmidt committed to play for The Little Bit Foundation, a local nonprofit that aims to empower students to achieve their academic goals by breaking down barriers to learning for students living in poverty. He participated in BLI’s 2023 Swinging for Impact event, which raised $120,000.

A runner-up for the Lou Gehrig Award in the past, Goldschmidt surprised an ALS patient with a customized wheelchair during the Cardinals’ Lou Gehrig Day tribute. He also signed the Lou Gehrig bat that was used in MLB’s auction and provided signed Lou Gehrig baseballs to the ALS Association in St. Louis and the Muscular Dystrophy Association to support their fundraising efforts.

“There's a lot of people doing a lot of great things and I'm just trying to do my part,” Goldschmidt said. “That's the goal -- to help people and to try and change their lives. It's not for any other reason. I've had a lot of people help me throughout my life, and I’m trying to do that for others as well.”