Pitcher Adam Wainwright has been named the St. Louis Cardinals 2017 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award. Wainwright will be recognized in an on-field ceremony prior to Friday’s home stand opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Roberto Clemente Award is the annual recognition of a player from each MLB Club who best represents the game through “extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.”
“I am extremely honored to have been selected as the Cardinals nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award,” said Wainwright. “It’s humbling to be considered for such a prestigious award.”
Through his foundation, Big League Impact, Wainwright has raised approximately $2 million to help provide basic needs for struggling families both in St. Louis and globally. Much of that money has been raised through a fantasy football initiative that has spread beyond St. Louis, and into nine other big league cities this season.
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As a result of his charitable efforts, the foundation has had a hand in building clean-water systems in developing countries, providing food, aide the cure for blindness in an African community and aid in the escape of girls stuck in sex trafficking rings.
Wainwright also assists Operation Food Search, a St. Louis nonprofit organization that provides meals to the hungry. He has personally made visits to East Africa, Mexico, Haiti and Honduras in recent off-seasons.
Additionally, Big League Impact has teamed up with Roberto Clemente Jr. and Striking Out Poverty, a Food-for-the-Hungry initiative, to serve one million meals in America, and create local-run sustainable farms to feed 50 thousand people in Haiti and the Dominican for life.
Wainwright and Big League Impact will donate and match all funds up to $150,000 from September 5-11, to help victims of Hurricane Harvey in his native Texas. He also is matching Matt Carpenter’s $10,000 donation for each home run hit by Carpenter until season’s end.
In August of last season, the Cardinals dedicated a recently-built youth baseball field in his name at Mathews-Dickey at Bob Russell Park. His “Wainwright’s Winners” program annually hosts local groups of children at Busch Stadium throughout the season.
“Adam continues to be an extraordinary representative for the Cardinals organization, both on and off the field,” said Michael Hall, vice president of community relations and executive director of Cardinals Care. “Adam is the perfect example of what Roberto Clemente stood for, and we are grateful to have him as a member of this community and a St. Louis Cardinal.”
“I’m excited to welcome Adam and Big League Impact to the FH family,” said Roberto Clemente, Jr., Global Ambassador of Food for the Hungry. “Adam’s commitment to the Striking Out Poverty campaign will greatly impact thousands of people from Haiti and the Dominican Republic who are in desperate need of support at this time.”
This year, the Roberto Clemente Award winner will be selected among the group of nominees via a blue ribbon panel that includes individuals connected to the game, including MLB Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr., representatives from MLB Network, FOX Sports, ESPN, TBS and MLB Advanced Media, as well as Vera Clemente, the late Roberto’s wife.
Beginning the day after the regular season ends, fans can vote for the overall winner of the Roberto Clemente Award via a dedicated website. The site will feature bios of each of the nominees and will allow fans to easily vote by clicking on the respective nominee’s name. The winner of the fan voting, which will run from October 2-6, will count as one vote among those cast by the blue ribbon panel.
Previous Cardinals to win the Roberto Clemente Award include Carlos Beltran (2013), Albert Pujols (2008), Ozzie Smith (1995) and Lou Brock (1975). More information and award nominees for all 30 MLB teams can be found at mlb.com/clemente.