Pitcher Adam Wainwright has been named the St. Louis Cardinals 2019 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award. Wainwright will be recognized during an on-field ceremony prior to the Wednesday, September 18th game against the Washington Nationals. This is fourth time Wainwright has been nominated for the award.
The Roberto Clemente Award is the annual recognition of a player from each MLB Club who best represents the game of Baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field. It is the most prominent individual player award bestowed by MLB.
“Everything I’ve ever heard about Roberto Clemente was that as great of a player he was on the field, he was that great of a man and humanitarian off the field, said Wainwright. He set the bar for all of us, and I just can’t think of a better compliment than to be nominated for his namesake award.”
Wainwright, with brother Trey, founded Big League Impact (BLI) in 2013 to provide basic needs including food, clean water, medical care and shelter in an effort to restore dignity and hope to those in need across the globe. Wainwright’s first fundraising event was Waino’s World Fantasy Football Draft. The photos shown with this story are from a recent Waino’s World Fantasy Football Draft event,
Today, Wainwright works with over two dozen MLB players to bring their charitable aspirations to life through Fantasy Football Drafts, game nights, and Swing for Impact events. Through Wainwright’s leadership, by the end of 2019, $4.5 million will have been raised by 150 players to benefit 60 charities.
This season, Wainwright created the ALL WIN fundraising campaign, with teammates and fans making pledges per win with a $10,000 match by the Cardinals, to provide healthy meals across the St. Louis region and to create an Ag-tech program at Normandy High School.
Additionally, Wainwright and BLI partnered with Garth Brooks and his foundation Teammates for Kids and MLB to create the Home Plate Project, a league-wide initiative to support childhood hunger prevention and battle food insecurity. More than four dozen players donated $300,000 that will provide more than 3.6 million meals to over 25,000 children across the United States and Canada.
“Wainwright has shown his dedication to humanitarian efforts time and time again,” said Michael Hall, Vice President, Community Relations & Executive Director, Cardinals Care. “We admire his worldwide efforts to help people in need. We are proud to have him as a member of the Cardinals.”
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) and MLB.com, as well as Vera Clemente (the late Roberto’s wife & MLB Goodwill Ambassador). Beginning today, 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 vote until the end of the season on Sunday, September 29th. The winner of the fan vote will count as one vote among those cast by the blue ribbon panel. Fans are encouraged to vote by visiting the following link:mlb.com/clemente21.
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.
Previous Cardinals to win the Roberto Clemente Award include Yadier Molina (2018), 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/clemente21.