Major League Baseball and Chevrolet, the official vehicle of Major League Baseball, today announced that Alex Gordon was named the Royals 2012 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Today marks the eleventh annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball to honor Clemente’s legacy and to officially recognize local Club nominees of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Gordon is one of the 30 Club finalists for the annual award, which recognizes a Major League Baseball player who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.
The Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet pays tribute to Clemente’s achievements and character by recognizing current players who truly understand the value of helping others. The Award is named for the 15-time MLB All-Star and Hall of Famer who died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
Among his charitable endeavors, Gordon has been a longtime supporter of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF). Beginning during his rookie season in 2007, the 28-year-old outfielder has attended Alex’s Lemonade Stand events at area Hy-Vee grocery stores, participated in public service announcements, welcomed children diagnosed with cancer out to the ballpark and visited youngsters in the hospital. The Royals and ARAMARK, the official concessionaire of Kauffman Stadium, have partnered this year to donate a portion of the proceeds from each lemonade sale at the ballpark to ASLF. It is Gordon’s involvement in the charity that helped push this initiative to fruition. Gordon also serves as a local spokesperson for ALSF.
In addition, the Lincoln, Neb., native became a big supporter of the Diamond Dawgs – a 12-and-under baseball team from his hometown that were “Playing for Pink” by donning pink jerseys to raise awareness for breast cancer after two members of the team lost their mothers to cancer. Rather than sticking with tradition by having their names across the backs of the jerseys, the Diamond Dawgs selected words such as hope, conquer and fearless in tribute of the fight against cancer.
Gordon and his wife, Jamie, hosted the Playing for Pink Casino Night in Lincoln on November 19, 2011. The event raised more than $120,000 – half of which ($64,000) was donated to the American Cancer Society. The other half was used to send the team to a tournament this summer in Cooperstown, N.Y. – a trip one of the deceased mothers told her doctors that she wanted to live long enough to see her son take.
As the Royals honoree, Gordon will receive an award and donation to the charity of his choice, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, from Chevrolet.
The distinguished list of past national Roberto Clemente Award recipients includes 14 members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame:
| 1971 - Willie Mays* || 1985 - Don Baylor || 1998 - Sammy Sosa |
| 1972 - Brooks Robinson* || 1986 - Garry Maddox || 1999 - Tony Gwynn* |
| 1973 - Al Kaline* || 1987 - Rick Sutcliffe || 2000 - Al Leiter |
| 1974 - Willie Stargell* || 1988 - Dale Murphy || 2001 - Curt Schilling |
| 1975 - Lou Brock* || 1989 - Gary Carter* || 2002 - Jim Thome |
| 1976 - Pete Rose || 1990 - Dave Stewart || 2003 - Jamie Moyer |
| 1977 - Rod Carew* || 1991 - Harold Reynolds || 2004 - Edgar Martinez |
| 1978 - Greg Luzinski || 1992 - Cal Ripken, Jr.* || 2005 - John Smoltz |
| 1979 - Andre Thornton || 1993 - Barry Larkin || 2006 - Carlos Delgado |
| 1980 - Phil Niekro* || 1994 - Dave Winfield* || 2007 - Craig Biggio |
| 1981 - Steve Garvey || 1995 - Ozzie Smith* || 2008 - Albert Pujols |
| 1982 - Ken Singleton || 1996 - Kirby Puckett* || 2009 - Derek Jeter |
| 1983 - Cecil Cooper || 1997 - Eric Davis || 2010 - Tim Wakefield |
| 1984 - Ron Guidry || || 2011 - David Ortiz |
* Member of the Baseball Hall of Fame
Beginning today, fans are encouraged to participate in the process of selecting the national award recipient by visiting MLB.com/ClementeAward to vote for one of the 30 Club nominees. Participating fans will be automatically registered for a chance to win a trip to the 2012 World Series, where the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet will be announced. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 14th, and the winner of the fan poll will receive one vote among those cast by a selection panel.
All Clubs playing at home today will recognize their local nominees as part of Roberto Clemente Day ceremonies, while each visiting Club will honor their nominees before another September home game. As part of the league-wide celebration, the Roberto Clemente Day logo will appear on the bases and the official dugout lineup cards.