SAN DIEGO–Major League Baseball and Chevrolet, the official vehicle of Major League Baseball, have announced that second baseman Orlando Hudson was named the San Diego Padres’ 2011 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Hudson 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. Tomorrow will mark the tenth 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.
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. It is named for the 12-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.
This is Hudson’s third nomination for the Roberto Clemente Award. He was previously the 2009 nominee for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the 2007 nominee for the Arizona Diamondbacks. His commitment to helping children and families struggling with autism is evidenced by his C.A.T.C.H. Foundation (Curing Autism Through Change and Hope), which he established in 2008. The mission of the C.A.T.C.H. Foundation is to enable children with autism to enjoy a normal life through the funding of outlets for proper therapy, education and extracurricular activities.
In addition to his work for the C.A.T.C.H. Foundation, Hudson is a fixture in the San Diego community, regularly volunteering his time for club-organized events. Each year on the anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s Major League debut, Hudson launches the Around the Mound Tour (ATMT), a national program designed to spark an interest in baseball for African American youth. The ATMT focuses on tools to make kids successful both on and off the field, including the importance of education and respect.
“Orlando personifies the values we want to see in every member of the Padres organization,” said Padres Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Moorad. “He understands the importance of giving back and making a positive impact in the community, serving as a leader for his teammates and a role model for young fans. Orlando is living Roberto Clemente’s legacy.”
“It’s a great feeling to be nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award,” said Hudson. “I’ve always believed that what you do off the field is just as important as what you do on the field and I am just blessed to be in a position to help families that are coping with autism or struggling within their communities.” The Padres will honor Hudson and recognize his nomination during an on-field pregame ceremony on Friday, September 16.
The distinguished list of national Roberto Clemente Award recipients includes 13 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|
* Member of Baseball Hall of Fame
Beginning on Roberto Clemente Day, fans are encouraged to participate in the process of selecting the national award recipient by visiting ChevyBaseball.com/Clemente, a site powered by MLB.com and created specifically for the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet platform, to vote for one of the 30 Club nominees. Voting ends on October 9, and participating fans will be automatically registered for a chance to win a trip to the 2011 World Series, where the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet will be announced.
The winner of the fan poll will receive one vote among those cast by the selection panel, which includes Commissioner Selig; Vera Clemente, MLB Goodwill Ambassador and wife of the late Hall of Famer; Baseball Hall of Famer, TBS analyst and former Roberto Clemente Award winner Cal Ripken Jr.; MLB Network analyst, TBS broadcaster and former Roberto Clemente Award winner John Smoltz; MLB Network analysts and former Roberto Clemente Award winners Al Leiter and Harold Reynolds; and MLB.com senior correspondent Hal Bodley.
All Clubs playing at home on September 14 will acknowledge their local nominees as part of Roberto Clemente Day ceremonies, while visiting Clubs 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.