The Orioles and Major League Baseball today announced that pitcher KYLE GIBSON has been named the Orioles’ 2023 nominee for the esteemed Roberto Clemente Award. The most prominent individual player award bestowed by MLB, the Roberto Clemente Award, presented by Capital One, is the annual recognition of a Major League player from each club who best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, sportsmanship, community involvement, philanthropy, and positive contributions, both on and off the field.
The Orioles will join all of Major League Baseball in celebrating the 22nd annual Roberto Clemente Day on Friday, September 15, as they host the Tampa Bay Rays at 7:05 p.m. ET. This commemorative day 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, all players will wear a ‘21’ patch on their jersey, and a special tribute video will be played in ballparks. Once again this season, each team’s Clemente nominee will wear ”21” on their uniform, joining players and uniformed personnel from Puerto Rico, previous nominees, and those who have worn “21” on prior Roberto Clemente Days.
As part of the nomination and in recognition of Gibson’s exemplary commitment to serving his community, MLB will make a $7,500 donation to Big League Impact. The Orioles will recognize Gibson in a special on-field ceremony on Friday, September 15.
The nomination comes as no surprise to those who have witnessed Gibson's unwavering dedication to both the game of baseball and the betterment of his community. In his first season with the Orioles, Gibson has quickly become a beloved figure among fans, teammates, and the Baltimore community alike. Beyond his achievements on the mound, Gibson's off-field contributions have left an indelible mark in the hearts of many. A three-time nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, while part of three different teams, shows how passionate Gibson is about giving back to the communities he calls home.
One of Gibson’s focuses this season is interacting with a different group of community members every homestand. Gibson has met with multiple community-based organizations including STAND Mentorship, whose mission is to enrich the lives of young men through educational experiences that will help them to grow and have a positive impact in the future, and Diamonds on the Rise, on organization committed to developing and promoting quality programs that provides a nurturing and thoughtful environment for individuals living with psychiatric diagnoses who may have challenges with their daily living activities. Gibson uses this time to discuss goal setting and the importance of perseverance. He has spoken with active-duty members of the military and their families to learn about their careers and thank them for their service, and he has given private tours of the Orioles’ clubhouse to children battling life threatening illnesses, providing a memorable moment of reprieve for struggling families.
Gibson's impact extends beyond his work with established organizations, as he has personally funded projects and initiatives aimed at improving the lives of those in need. His dedication to using his platform to inspire and uplift others has not gone unnoticed by his peers or the community he serves.
This year, Gibson launched his #ALLWIN digital fundraising campaign. With every strikeout he records, Gibson is feeding families in need in Maryland with a donation to the Maryland Food Bank, totaling nearly $14,000. With every Orioles team win, Gibson is providing life-saving resources to women escaping domestic violence with a donation to House of Ruth Maryland. Gibson has also rallied teammates Austin Hays, Cedric Mullins, and Tyler Wells, to make donations to causes that are significant to them, for personal milestones and every team win totaling over $35,000.
This August, Gibson hosted two charity events in the Baltimore community. The first, Swinging for Impact, was a golf tournament at Top Golf benefitting City of Refuge Baltimore, a faith-based organization that helps individuals and families transition out of crisis. This was his third time hosting the event in a different city, significantly contributing to each community where he spends his playing career. In late August, he launched a Fantasy Football League where fans donated to play fantasy football with their favorite Orioles players with proceeds benefiting Help One Now.
In total, Gibson has raised nearly $500,000 for the communities where he has played. His passion for giving back shines through his storied 10-year career embodying the spirit of Roberto Clemente.
The league-wide winner of the Roberto Clemente Award will be selected via a blue ribbon panel, including representatives from the Commissioner’s Office, Capital One, MLB-affiliated networks (MLB Network, FOX Sports, ESPN and TBS), MLB.com, and Roberto’s children, ENRIQUE, LUIS and ROBERTO CLEMENTE, JR. Beginning today and continuing until the conclusion of the regular season on Sunday, October 1, fans are encouraged to support Gibson by voting for him in the Roberto Clemente Award fan vote. To cast your vote and learn more about the award, please visit MLBTogether.com/Clemente21.
The concept of honoring Major League players for their philanthropic work was created in 1971 as the “Commissioner’s Award,” but 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.