HOUSTON, TX - Major League Baseball announced today that Alex Bregman was named the Houston Astros 2020 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. Wednesday, September 9th marks the 19th annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball to honor Clemente’s legacy as a humanitarian 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.
Bregman is one of the 30 Club nominees for the annual award. As the nation began to battle a global pandemic, Bregman stepped up to become a leader in the efforts to assist families in need. What began as an initial donation of 1,000 quarantine food kits equating to 28,000 meals to the Houston Food Bank by Bregman and his fiancée, Reagan Howard, has grown into a rallying cry for all Houstonians to help “feed Houston.” On April 10, in conjunction with his new “Bregman Cares” charity, Bregman launched #FEEDHOU, a campaign to raise $1.0 million for the Houston Food Bank to help feed struggling Houston residents during the COVID-19 crisis. Every dollar donated provides three meals for families in need.
After kick-starting the campaign with a personal gift of $100,000, Bregman rallied the support of the Astros Foundation, teammates and local celebrities and leaders, including Paul Wall, Joel Osteen and Jim “Mattress Mac” McIngvale. In just eight days, Bregman and his supporters reached the $1,000,000 goal. Those dollars assured that families in need would have access to over 3.0 million meals during quarantine.
Motivated by the city’s response, Bregman challenged himself and the community to a new goal of $2.0 million, encouraging supporters to spend time volunteering at local food distribution sites and the Houston Food Bank itself.
During quarantine, Bregman and Howard led by example. They built sustainable kid’s meals at the Houston Food Bank and spent weekends handing out meal kits to families with the society of St. Vincent DePaul, and distributing food to over 10,000 families at NRG Park in Houston.
To help reach their goal of $2.0 million, Bregman utilized his hobby of gaming to gather support outside of Houston. He hosted a 24-hour charity livestream gaming event on Twitch that featured appearances from Astros teammates along with MLB, NFL and MMA stars, amassing over 800,000 views and raising $57,000 for #FEEDHOU. The gaming event helped provide an additional 150,000 meals for Houston families.
Bregman and Howard have also donated over 100 lunches to first responders at Houston Methodist Hospital, one of the leading frontline hospitals in the fight against COVID-19. Bregman also enlisted the support of University of Houston students in designing #FEEDHOU shirts, which were sold to raise additional dollars for the Houston Food Bank.
To date, Bregman’s #FEEDHOU campaign has reached over $1.9 million raised. That equates to 5.78 million meals for families in need. Funds were also used to purchase new forklifts and warehouse supplies to support the Houston Food Bank’s efforts in coping with the COVID-19 crisis.
In addition to his #FEEDHOU campaign, Bregman has been active in recent years supporting several non-profit organizations, including autism research efforts, youth baseball and softball and more. Those efforts include monetary donations, surprise visits and other gestures of support.
Bregman’s tireless efforts to mobilize others and to provide his own support for those in need make him an ideal candidate for the 2020 Roberto Clemente Award. Since the Astros are on the road on Roberto Clemente Day (Sept. 9), the ballclub will recognize Bregman prior to the Sept. 15 game vs. the Texas Rangers.
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, September 27th. 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.