Major League Baseball today announced that Jacob Stallings was named the Pittsburgh Pirates 2021 nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, baseball’s most prestigious individual honor for Major Leaguers.
The Roberto Clemente Award is the annual recognition of a Major League player who best represents the game of Baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy, and positive contributions, both on and off the field.
As part of the annual program, each MLB Club nominates one player to be considered for the league-wide Award in tribute to Clemente’s achievements and character.
The Pirates 2021 nominee, Stallings, has been active within the community in the Pittsburgh region throughout his professional career since being drafted by the Club in 2012. He is a regular on Pirates Carea-van, at team fundraising events, community happenings and more.
This year, Stallings worked to keep the Pirates active in the community even during the difficulties of the past year. With strict COVID-19 protocols in place, Jacob took time during his busy spring training schedule to create a memorable experience for a group of youth from the Boys and Girls Club of Manatee County. When the Club was unable to host the annual PLAYBALL event with the group in its normal fashion this spring, Stallings stepped up to host a virtual event to create a special moment for area youth players.
During the season, Stallings continues to team-up with the Pirates and Pirates Charities to engage the Pittsburgh community. Recently, he joined with Pirates Chairman Bob Nutting to host “Caleb the Crusher,” a popular Miracle League player, to PNC Park for a special pitching session and meet-and-greet. Caleb is a pitcher for the Miracle League of the South Hills, and in August was treated to a day at the ballpark that included some special time with Stallings before the game. The two friends made their way to the Pirates batting cages for a bullpen session prior to Caleb’s pregame ceremonial first pitch.
In addition to his work in the community, Jacob participated in this year’s Pirates Charities Players’ Favorite Things Basket Auction, which supported Allegheny Health Network’s efforts to provide free mammograms to women in need in the Pittsburgh region. The amount Jacob’s basket raised went to provide three women with a life-saving screening.
“Jacob embodies the spirit of The Great One in the way he carries himself and how he represents our organization on and off the field,” Nutting said. “The Roberto Clemente Award is very special to the Pirates, and we are incredibly proud of Jacob and all of the 2021 nominees.”
Wednesday, September 15th marks the 20th annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball to honor Clemente’s legacy as a humanitarian and to formally acknowledge 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.
The league-wide winner of the Roberto Clemente Award will be selected via a blue ribbon panel, including Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr., representatives from MLB-affiliated networks (MLB Network, FOX Sports, ESPN and TBS), MLB.com, as well as Roberto’s children, Enrique, Luis and Roberto Clemente, Jr. Beginning today, fans can vote for the Roberto Clemente Award via mlb.com/clemente21. The site will feature bios of each of the nominees and will allow fans to vote until the end of the season on Sunday, October 3rd. The winner of the fan vote will count as one vote among those cast by the blue-ribbon panel.
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.