Major League Baseball and Chevrolet, the official vehicle of Major League Baseball, today announced that Felix Hernandez is the Seattle Mariners 2012 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Today marks the 11th 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.
Hernandez is one of the 30 Club nominees who are finalists for the national 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.
In his eight seasons with the Mariners, Hernandez has become one of the most dominant pitchers in Major League Baseball. He is a three-time All-Star and was named the 2010 American League Cy Young Award winner. In addition to his accomplishments on the field, he has also played a large role off the field and continues to have a positive impact on the lives of youth and families in our communities.
Since arriving in Seattle, Hernandez has reached out to numerous kids with life-threatening medical conditions in an effort to help bring hope and joy to each child. He has visited hundreds of children at local hospitals and has granted wishes and entertained kids from the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Alaska and Washington. Felix also assists the Make-A-Wish fundraising events and has donated countless autographed items over the years.
In 2012, Hernandez helped promote the Run of Hope Seattle 5k Run and 3k Walk to benefit Seattle Children’s Hospital and the Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Fund. Through public service announcements, he encouraged people to participate and helped raise funds and awareness for pediatric brain tumor research at Seattle Children’s.
As an extension of his work on the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WSCADV) Refuse to Abuse campaign, Hernandez participated in a program that provides sports coaches throughout the region with skills they need to mentor young male athletes and teach non-violence and responsibility.
Hernandez is also active with The Martinez Foundation, a non-profit organization that strives to strengthen our communities by providing under-served populations with educational opportunities. In addition to helping with their fundraising efforts, Hernandez hosts youth from The Martinez Foundation at games at Safeco Field.
Hernandez is an advocate for the Humane Society of Seattle/King County, a non-profit animal welfare organization. He participated in a public service campaign and has supported fundraising events that assist the variety of Humane Society programs including adoptions, veterinary services, dog training classes, a pet food bank, and humane education for children of all ages.
Over his career, Hernandez has supported numerous other local charities and non-profit organizations in the Pacific Northwest, including: Esperanza, South Park Community Center, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Special Olympics of Washington, Boys & Girls Clubs, and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
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.
The Mariners have produced three Clemente Award winners: Harold Reynolds in 1991, Jamie Moyer in 2003 and Edgar Martinez in 2004.
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.