Major League Baseball today announced that Miguel Cabrera was named the Tigers' 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.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cabrera stepped up on and off the field to support the cause. In 2021, Cabrera joined Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to promote COVID-19 vaccinations in the State of Michigan and served as a co-chair of the Protect Michigan Commission. As part of this effort, Cabrera recorded PSAs in English and Spanish to motivate residents to get vaccinated, wear masks, and socially distance to reduce the spread of the virus.
Additionally, in response to the COVID-19 crisis in 2020, Rosangel and Miguel Cabrera partnered with the Detroit Tigers Foundation to donate $250,000 to benefit children and families in Detroit. The donation helped provide meals for children, technology for students, day care for families, and high-quality face masks for Detroiters through grants to The Detroit Public Schools Community District, The Detroit Public Schools Foundation, G1 Impact, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, Detroit Police Athletic League (PAL), and Brilliant Detroit.
"Since joining our Detroit community in 2008, Miguel has been a constant positive force both on and off the field," said Al Avila, Detroit Tigers Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager. "Miguel's support of those in need during some very challenging times over the past year was heroic, but at the same time not at all surprising to anyone that knows him. He continues to make an impact in the community both in Detroit and across the state of Michigan, and all of us with the Tigers are proud of his nomination."
"Being nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award is a great honor," said Cabrera. "It's one of the most prestigious awards in the game, and I am appreciative to be mentioned for it. Getting through the pandemic has been challenging for so many people across the world, but my family and I are so proud to play a small role in helping the Detroit and Michigan communities battle through some very hard times. It's also great to see the progress we're making with vaccinations, and like everyone, I am looking forward to a full return to normal life soon."
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.