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Jameson Taillon named Pirates nominee for the 2018 Roberto Clemente Award

Major League Baseball today announced that Jameson Taillon was named the Pittsburgh Pirates 2018 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award, the most prominent individual player award bestowed by MLB.  

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.  

Major League Baseball today announced that Jameson Taillon was named the Pittsburgh Pirates 2018 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award, the most prominent individual player award bestowed by MLB.  

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.  

Each Club nominates one current player to be considered for the Roberto Clemente Award in tribute to Clemente's achievements and character. Today, Wednesday, September 5, marks 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 and a special tribute video will be played in ballparks.  

Taillon is one of the 30 Club nominees for the annual award.  

Jameson has overcome much adversity throughout his career -- including Tommy John surgery and a sports hernia operation. However, the most difficult test came in May of 2017 as he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He immediately decided to use his personal experience to reach out and help others impacted by the disease. 

Thankfully, five weeks after surgery, Taillon was able to take the mound again and declare that he was cancer-free. Following his experience, he connected immediately with Lending Hearts, a local nonprofit providing emotional and social support to children and young adults with cancer, as well as their families.

Lending Hearts allowed Jameson to combine two of his passions, coffee and supporting those battling cancer, to give back to his community in a tangible way. Jameson partnered with Pittsburgh's Commonplace Coffee Co. and worked directly with the local coffee spot to develop the "Lending Hearts Blend" in which all proceeds of the blend directly benefit Lending Hearts.

He also works with Pirates Charities to continue to support those affected by cancer by taking part in events such as visiting with pediatric cancer patients during Childhood Cancer Awareness night, and participating in the baseBALD challenge. During the baseBALD event, Jameson had his head shaved by a young superhero struggling with a cancer diagnosis himself.  

In addition to his individual cancer supporting efforts, Jameson requested the Miracle League as a beneficiary of the Pirates Charities Clemente Day celebration. Therefore, with Jameson's support, Pirates Charities hosted a Miracle League Fantasy Camp in PNC Park's outfield/bullpen for adult participants from six local Miracle League programs. Pirates players and coaches served as instructors at skill stations as participants rotate through practice stations.

The league-wide winner of the Roberto Clemente Award, who will be announced during the 2018 World Series, will be selected among the group of nominees via a blue-ribbon panel that includes individuals connected to the game. The blue-ribbon panel includes Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr., representatives from MLB-affiliated networks (MLB Network, FOX Sports, ESPN and TBS) and MLB.com, as well as Vera Clemente (the late Roberto's wife & MLB Goodwill Ambassador). Beginning on Roberto Clemente Day, fans can vote for the overall winner of the Roberto Clemente Award via a dedicated website. The site will feature bios of each of the nominees and will allow fans from Roberto Clemente Day on Wednesday, September 5, until Tuesday, September 18. The winner of the fan vote will count as one vote among those cast by the blue-ribbon panel. Fans are encouraged to vote by visiting the following link: mlb.com/clemente21.

The concept of honoring Major League players for their philanthropic work was created in 1971 as the "Commissioner's Award." The recognition was renamed to the "Roberto Clemente Award" in 1973 in honor of the Hall of Famer and 15-time All-Star who died in a plane crash on New Year's Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. Major League Baseball has commemorated Roberto Clemente Day each September since 2002. 

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