For the second time in three years, Orioles outfielder Adam Jones has been nominated for the esteemed Roberto Clemente Award, which recognizes the player who best represents Major League Baseball through contributions on and off the field.
The 28-year-old Jones, the O's nominee in 2011, was among those who were honored around baseball on the nomination ballots. The award is named for the 15-time Major League All-Star and Hall of Famer who died in a plane crash on New Year's Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
Tuesday is Roberto Clemente Day throughout Major League Baseball, a day instituted on the 30th anniversary of his passing in 1972 to keep alive Clemente's spirit of giving. Voting runs from Sept. 17 through Oct. 6 at chevybaseball.com as fans help decide which of those 30 club winners will receive this prestigious recognition. The nominees were chosen based on their dedication to giving back to the community, as well as their outstanding ability on the field.
One of the Orioles' most outgoing personalities, Jones has been very active in the Baltimore community since he joined the O's in 2008, focusing on making a positive impact on underprivileged youth in Baltimore City.
Jones has made numerous appearances at Boys & Girls Clubs, the Y of Central Maryland and Baltimore City Title I schools, where his visits include promoting an active lifestyle and engaging in question-and-answer sessions with the children. He has also taken a strong interest in working with players in Baltimore's Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities (RBI) program, hosting a clinic at which players from RBI and other Baltimore City baseball leagues received baseball instruction from Jones and other former and current Orioles players and coaches. Jones also frequently visits RBI games on the team's off-days.
A fan favorite on Twitter, Jones frequently uses the social media forum to promote community acts or random fan giveaways, and his presence in the community is something the outfielder takes seriously and has stepped up since signing a six-year contract extension last May.
In addition to his work in Baltimore schools, Jones also has a partnership with BARCS (Baltimore Animal and Rescue Care Shelter), for which he posed in the OriolesREACH pet calendar. Additonally, Jones contributes money every year to the OriolesREACH Gameday Experience, a program that gives underprivileged children the opportunity to come to Oriole Park for a game, hat, T-shirt and concessions.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli.