Perkins named Twins' Clemente nominee
MINNEAPOLIS -- Closer Glen Perkins was named Minnesota's 2014 nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet, the Twins and Major League Baseball announced Tuesday.
Perkins is one of 30 finalists for the annual award, which recognizes a Major League player who best represents the game through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.
"It's a great honor," Perkins said. "It's every bit about [my wife], Alisha, as it is about me. She's pushed me and us as a family moreso than anyone. With the success I've had on the field and the opportunities I've been given, it's my name and I do what I can, but with baseball it's hard for me to participate as much as I'd like. So she's the driving the force behind it."
Perkins will be honored during a pregame ceremony at Target Field on Wednesday, which is the 13th annual Roberto Clemente Day. Clemente, a 15-time All-Star and Hall of Famer, died in a plane crash on New Year's Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
"The Twins are privileged to have a player like Glen Perkins, who is so active in our local community," said Bryan Donaldson, executive director of the Twins Community Fund. "Giving back to the community is a core value of the Minnesota Twins, and none of our players represent that commitment as strongly as Mr. Perkins."
Perkins, a native of Stillwater, Minn., is involved in many charitable endeavors throughout the Twins Cities, including the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Strikeout Cancer, and he donates tickets to underprivileged children through the TwinsCare program. His biggest fundraiser is the annual Fifteens 5K, which benefits the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
"He gets what it's about to be in this community and play for the Minnesota Twins," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He knows how fortunate he is, because he grew up here. He gets all that. He's big in the community, and his family is here. He's taken on that role of being the guy to go to when you need something from him. Glen steps up."
Fans can vote at ChevyBaseball.com for one of the 30 club nominees beginning on Wednesday. Voting ends on Oct. 6, and the winner of the fan vote will receive a vote among those cast by the selection panel of dignitaries, which includes Commissioner Bud Selig; MLB chief operating officer Rob Manfred; MLB goodwill ambassador and wife of Roberto Clemente, Vera Clemente; and representatives from Chevrolet, MLB Network, MLB.com, ESPN, FOX Sports and TBS, among others. The winner will be announced during the World Series.