Trevino nominated for Clemente Award

September 16th, 2021

ARLINGTON -- When he was in high school in Corpus Christi, Rangers catcher Jose Trevino did an entire speech project based on a non-profit organization charity and community service.

Trevino and his best friend created J&J Sports. The concept was to have a facility to be used as an after-school program for kids. They had to pitch it to salespeople and lay out the expenses and demographics as if it were a real-life plan.

Even back then, Trevino always knew he wanted to be involved with the community.

So it was no shock when Major League Baseball announced on Tuesday that Trevino was the Rangers’ 2021 nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award. The award is given to a player who “best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.”

“I set out to do this when they started giving out that award,” Trevino said. “If you're not doing anything to help anybody on the daily with this platform that you have, you’re wasting your time. I really believe in that. It means a lot, just because my family, we're a giving family.

“I was raised that if someone needs a shirt and you have a shirt, give it to them. That was preached to me from my high school coach, my parents, my family. We believe in that kind of stuff. So it just means the world. I know it's just a [nomination], but to be up there with all those guys, and to see the past winners, that is incredible for me."

Trevino has been involved in a number of community and charity events since his initial callup in 2018. He’s been an integral part of the organization.

His most notable contribution has been his partnership with the West Side Helping Hand in his hometown of Corpus Christi for numerous events. He created the Christmas Toy Drive in 2017, collecting gifts for local kids in need, as well as raising $35,000 to distribute over 2,800 toys for families in 2020 alone.

“I'm just excited about it,” Trevino said. “My family's a big part of this toy drive. Some of the stuff you'll see, but people don't see what kind of work that we put in behind the scenes to get that thing going. My sisters, my mom, just everybody in my family, my aunts, my uncles, everybody has literally pitched in for this toy drive, and it's getting bigger and bigger.”

He also partnered with West Side Helping Hand to build a youth baseball field in Corpus Christi. Construction on the field is currently underway.

In addition, Trevino also served as the honorary chair of the Texas Rangers Toy Drive last winter. The event raises money for Christmas gifts for children at the Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Most recently, Trevino designed a “Hip Hip Jose” T-shirt this season, with a portion of all sales going to the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation.

His other charitable events include a baseball camp in Frisco, Texas and another toy drive, this time for a military non-profit group called Operation Once in a Lifetime (OOIAL). He also partnered with Special Arts in the Hearts in Corpus Christi, helping raise over $4,500 in three days.

This offseason, Trevino is planning a youth baseball tournament in the DFW area with approximately 50 teams from across the state. He jokingly said he’s not above dragging his teammates out to the field to sign autographs and interact with the kids. 

“I love to do this stuff,” Trevino said. “I know the platform that I have isn’t going to be here forever, and I'm okay with that, but while I have it, I want to be sure to inspire others. ... This is something I've always wanted to do. Yeah, it's working in the offseason, but it's fun. Just to make somebody else happy, that goes a long way for me. It makes me feel good to know that we're helping the community.”

Of all the work he’s done and all the kids he’s met and helped, the one that sticks out most to Trevino was a kid named Daniel Flagg from Pilot Point, Texas, who took catching lessons from him. 

Flagg passed away a couple months ago in an accident. Trevino told Flagg’s family that every time he took the field for the rest of his career, it would be to honor him and his family. 

“He loved baseball, he loved the catcher position, and I built a relationship with him,” Trevino said. “When I got the news that he had passed away, it hit home a little bit because we don't realize how much of an impact as a professional athlete we have. The impact that I had on his life was big. I look back on all the conversations we had, he would send me messages about how happy he would be to be a big leaguer. It made me just value that even more.” 

Rangers manager Chris Woodward added that he always knew Trevino would be a leader for the organization, both on and off the field.

“He represents everything we're about and everything we should be about [in the organization],” Woodward said. “He's a natural leader. There's no better person on our team to receive that award. To me, that's probably the best, the number one award you can get as a player. I know it means a ton to him too, because he takes a lot of pride in his community and with his family.”