SEATTLE -- In recognition of his work within the Seattle community, Mariners ace Felix Hernandez is the team's nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Players were selected based on their dedication to giving back to their community, as well as their performance on the field. It is the second consecutive selection for Hernandez.
"It's an honor, man, for real," he said. "All the stuff that we do for this city, with the kids, with everything, it's an honor to be there, nominated. There's high competition, but I'm just glad to be nominated."
Each Major League Baseball team has one nominee -- as announced on Tuesday, which is Roberto Clemente Day -- and fans can vote at MLB.com/ClementeAward through Oct. 14. Fans who vote will automatically be entered for a chance to win a trip to the 2012 World Series, where the winner will be announced.
Hernandez has become one of the most popular players in Seattle during his eight seasons with the Mariners, winning the American League Cy Young in 2010 and being selected to three All-Star teams. Earlier this season, King Felix tossed the first perfect game in Mariners history.
In addition to his achievements on the field, Hernandez has been an active community member with his charity work. Hernandez has been active with the Make-A-Wish Foundation for many years and has visited hundreds of children with life-threatening medical conditions in local hospitals.
This year, 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. He also has been active with the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence Refuse to Abuse campaign and The Martinez Foundation.
Other local charities and non-profit organizations Hernandez has been involved with in the past include Esperanza, South Park Community Center, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Special Olympics of Washington, Boys & Girls Clubs and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
"Felix is the total package," manager Eric Wedge said. "I can't say enough about him. You hear things coming in. I haven't been here that long, but just to see what he does off the field, how he carries himself, whether it be a good day or bad day, the way he handles himself, how generous he is with his time, amongst other things, just how generous he is with people. Well deserved."
The Mariners' past winners of the award are Harold Reynolds (1991), Jamie Moyer (2003) and Edgar Martinez (2004).