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.
In Smith's second season with the Rays, he has distinguished himself as a leader in the community. He has committed countless hours in the greater Tampa Bay area by utilizing his platform as a Major League player to impact local youth.
Smith participated in the first "Reading with the Rays" event this season by reading children's books to more than 40 kids from the Boys & Girls Club of Charlotte County in March. In addition, he spent time with 30 students from the Poynter Institute's Write Field program, he took part in the local Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids' Sake fundraiser, and he participated in the "Rays on the Runway" fashion show, a charity event that benefits the Children's Dream Fund.
"A village raised me," said Smith when asked why he feels it's important to give back. "Besides my parents and my brother and sister, I had a whole bunch of people throwing their little two cents into me being who I am today. If I don't return the favor, then I haven't done anything."
Wednesday will mark the 17th 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. A special tribute video will be played in ballparks.
Snell rules August
Blake Snell won the American League Pitcher of the Month Award for August, becoming the fifth Rays pitcher to receive the monthly honor, joining Chris Archer (July 2013), Jeremy Hellickson (May '11), David Price (Sept. '10) and Scott Kazmir (May '08).
Snell went 4-0 with a 1.04 ERA in five August starts. His four wins tied the club record for August.
"It's cool," said Snell when asked about winning the award. "I had a good month, but I have to focus on finishing the season strong, and winning these games and trying to get a Wild Card spot. I think we have a long way to go, but I think we can do it. That's what I'm more focused on."
The Rays have recalled right-hander Jake Faria from Triple-A Durham, and they have reinstated catcher Adam Moore from the restricted list. To make room for Moore on the 40-man roster, infielder Daniel Robertson was transferred from the 10-day disabled list to the 60-day DL.