Major League Baseball today announced that Michael Lorenzen was named the Cincinnati Reds 2019 nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, the most prestigious individual award for Major League players.
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.
Every year, each MLB Club nominates a player to be considered for the Award in tribute to Clemente’s achievements and character.
Now in his fifth season with the Reds, Michael Lorenzen leads the team with visits in the community and has demonstrated he has a purpose that is bigger than baseball. He has developed a personal relationship with the staff at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital from his many visits during the season and in the offseason.
He and his teammates make scheduled visits each month but he often stops by on his own as well. Michael also hosts a monthly meeting with local members from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and always makes it a point to spend time with families who are visiting the ballpark on behalf of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
A pregame ceremony recognizing Lorenzen will be held Friday, Sept. 20 at Great American Ball Park before the Reds vs. Mets game. He will receive his award and have the honor of presenting the Northern Kentucky chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes with a donation of $7,500.
September 18 marks the 18th 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.
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) and MLB.com, as well as Vera Clemente (the late Roberto’s wife & MLB Goodwill Ambassador). Beginning today, 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 to vote until the end of the season on Sunday, September 29th. 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.