ANAHEIM – Major League Baseball announced today that Mike Trout was named the Los Angeles Angels 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.
Trout is one of the 30 Club nominees for the annual award. Over the years, Trout has gone above and beyond in his commitment to baseball fans both on and off the field. Since 2020, he and his wife Jessica began working with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention as benefactors for the organization to raise awareness after losing Jessica’s brother Aaron Cox three years ago. The couple is currently working with Tiny Turnip, an apparel company to lead an initiative called “Your Game Isn’t Over Yet;.” The design consists of a baseball and glove in the shape of the semicolon “;”as it is the symbol for suicide prevention. Just as the semicolon represents when an author could have ended a sentence but decided to continue the sentence instead, Trout’s suicide prevention campaign seeks to empower those who are struggling with suicidal thoughts or behaviors to know that “Your Game Isn’t Over Yet;.” All proceeds benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
To further this cause, Trout worked together with Orange County Health Care Agency last September to kick off Suicide Prevention Month by creating more awareness on suicide prevention with an outfield sign at Angel Stadium that read “You’re Game Isn’t Over Yet;” to gain visibility during in-game broadcasts. This year, Trout has continued to support various programs in including “Each Mind Matters” to provide support for programs on mental health.
Additionally, one of the programs closest to his heart is the Make-A-Wish visits to Angel Stadium. Mike makes a special effort to ensure each child has a unique and unforgettable experience. Prior to the pandemic, he was a regular participant in Angels Baseball’s monthly visits to children’s hospitals, which he now participates via Zoom. In addition, he has recorded countless video messages to encourage children around the country who are fighting their own battle with illnesses and setbacks. He personalizes these memories so that each encounter is special and specific to that person. Every day he makes time to be of service to people in need or to share a special moment with young fans. In addition, he has participated in the “Play Ball Clinic” at Angel Stadium for kids ages 8-12 years old in June and recorded messages to be played at this clinic and at the “Roberto Clemente Clinic” in September to encourage kids to maintain their wellbeing.
The Angels will honor Trout and Roberto Clemente Day during a pre-game celebration on September 17th when they host the Oakland Athletics during their final homestand.
“We are excited to have Mike Trout be the Angels nominee for this year’s Roberto Clemente Award,” said Angels Chairman Dennis Kuhl. “This is the second year in a row that he is the club’s nominee as he exemplifies the characteristics of Roberto Clemente with his support to the community and his involvement with American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. His infectious and positive personality and his selfless commitment to the community enriches the lives of all around him.”
“Roberto Clemente was a Hall of Fame player both on and off the field and I am extremely humbled to receive this award for the second time in my career,” said Trout. “I would like to thank my wife, Jessica, who truly is the backbone of so many of my off the field efforts. As my family and I continue to serve our communities, we hope we do so in a way that would make Roberto proud.”
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 Clement 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 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.
The distinguished list of past Roberto Clemente Award winners includes 19 members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.