Role model Hosmer nominated for Clemente Award
KANSAS CITY -- First baseman Eric Hosmer was named the Royals' nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award on Tuesday.
The Clemente Award pays tribute to Clemente's achievements and character by recognizing current players who best represent the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.
Each of the 30 clubs nominated a player, and Wednesday marks the 13th annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball to honor Clemente's legacy and officially recognize local club nominees.
"Anytime you're nominated for an award at this level, it's a tremendous honor," Hosmer said. "It was named after Roberto. It's tremendous to be named in the same sentence as him.
"We're in a position where people and kids in the city look up to you and you remember being in their shoes one day, so you realize the position you're in, and it seems surreal for all of us."
Hosmer's involvement with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City (BBBSKC) since 2012 helped him garner the honor.
"You just want to try and set a good example for these kids, and basically just try and do things the right way, so anytime you get recognized for something like this, it means you're doing that," Hosmer said.
The four-year veteran recently hosted the charity event "Uncork for a Cause," which benefited the Greater Kansas City Fire Fighters Local 42 Community Assistance organization. Royals players Salvador Perez, Mike Moustakas, Greg Holland, Jarrod Dyson and Lorenzo Cain were among the many who attended the event.
"It was a good turnout, raised a lot of money. I can't thank my teammates enough for being there," Hosmer said. "There aren't many evenings where you're free, and you have a free schedule for the night, so for most of the guys to be out there -- and especially with the guys that have families -- for them to still make it out there and support me and support my family in that event, it really did mean a lot to us."
Clemente, a 15-time All-Star and Hall of Famer, died in a plane crash on New Year's Eve of 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
Carlos Beltran was the winner of the 2013 Roberto Clemente Award. There were more than 1.3 million fan votes last year, and fans can start voting again Wednesday at ChevyBaseball.com, which is powered by MLB Advanced Media. Voting ends on Oct. 6, and participating fans will be automatically registered to win a trip to next month's World Series.
The winner of the fan vote will receive one vote among those cast by a selection panel of dignitaries. Clubs playing at home on Wednesday will recognize their nominees as part of Roberto Clemente Day ceremonies, while visiting clubs will honor their nominees before another September home game. As part of the league-wide celebration, the Roberto Clemente Day logo will appear on the bases and the official dugout lineup cards.