All 30 nominees, including 16 first-time honorees, for the 2022 Roberto Clemente Award were announced by Major League Baseball on MLB Network on Thursday. Considered baseball’s most prestigious individual honor for Major Leaguers, the Clemente Award annually recognizes the MLB player who best represents the game through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.
Beginning today, fans can vote for the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Capital One via mlb.com/clemente21 (English) and LasMayores.com/clemente21 (Spanish) through the end of the regular season on Wednesday, Oct. 5. The winner of the fan vote will count as one vote among those cast by a blue ribbon panel that will select the league-wide winner of the award.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of when the Hall of Famer and 15-time All-Star tragically died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. As such, Major League Baseball will join the Clemente family in celebrating the decades-long legacy on Sept. 15 on Roberto Clemente Day in the following ways:
• A customized tribute video to both Roberto and his wife Vera — Momentito (in English and Spanish) — will be shown in all MLB ballparks on Roberto Clemente Day as well as on MLB Network, MLB.com, club sites and MLB social media platforms.
• The Pittsburgh Pirates will play the New York Mets at Citi Field, with the game airing nationwide on FOX beginning at 7 p.m. ET. On Roberto Clemente Day, all players, managers and coaches on the Pittsburgh Pirates, the club for which Roberto played his entire Hall of Fame career, will once again wear Clemente’s “21” on their uniforms. They will be joined by all players, managers and coaches on the Mets doing the same.
• Retired players who are Roberto Clemente Award winners will be in New York to participate in a food packaging volunteer event with Rise Against Hunger at Citi Field with Commissioner Rob Manfred and employees from the Commissioner’s Office and the Mets.
Below is each club’s nominee for the 2022 Roberto Clemente Award.
Blue Jays: Bo Bichette
Bichette has remained heavily involved in the community in his hometown of St. Petersburg, volunteering at a local shelter serving the homeless throughout previous offseasons. He’s also spent time instilling a love of baseball in the youth of St. Pete, sponsoring camps, supplying gear and acting as a mentor to young players.
Orioles: Dillon Tate
Tate, who honed his baseball skills in part through free resources at the MLB Youth Academy in Compton, Calif., prioritizes supporting the development of young players through Orioles community outreach events and in his personal time. In 2022, he launched his own foundation, Baseball Academia, which has already hosted more than 100 athletes for meet-and-greet events at Oriole Park.
Rays: Brandon Lowe
Since 2019, Lowe and the Rays Baseball Foundation have made a donation to the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay for every home run he has hit, helping to fund and raise awareness for the organization, which provides vital services to those struggling with their mental health, addiction and a number of other issues. Lowe and his wife, Madison, also spend time sharing their passion for baseball and softball, hosting young athletes at Tropicana Field for games and personal meetings.
Red Sox: Jake Diekman
Now with the White Sox, Diekman, who lives with ulcerative colitis, worked closely with the New England Chapter of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation in his time with the Red Sox, raising money and spending time with children to offer support with their own diagnoses.
Yankees: Jose Trevino
Since 2017, Trevino has held Trevino’s Toy Drive, collecting toys and monetary donations for less fortunate families over the holiday season. He’s found new ways to support his communities in New York and his native Corpus Christi, Texas, in 2022, including making a donation for every extra-base hit to Special Hearts in the Arts, which provides opportunities in theater, dance, music and art for individuals with special needs.
Guardians: Triston McKenzie
For the past two seasons, McKenzie has mentored eighth graders at a local school in Cleveland, sharing his experiences as an athlete and hosting his 2022 class for several in-person events and ballgames at Progressive Field. He is also regularly involved with the Boys & Girls Clubs of NE Ohio, building relationships with the youth the organization serves.
Royals: Nicky Lopez
Lopez is passionate about supporting those dealing with critical and chronic illness and their caregivers, and he has regularly made hospital visits in his time with the Royals. During the COVID-19 crisis, while being unable to make in-person visits, he made donations of food to frontline healthcare workers and began hosting Zoom meetings with kids from the Kansas City area to provide encouragement and positivity. Lopez has also recently partnered with a local credit union to promote financial literacy among Kansas City youth.
Tigers: Miguel Cabrera
Cabrera’s community efforts have only increased since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, as he and his wife, Rosangel, along with the Tigers, have made donations to aid in distributing meals, technological resources, affordable childcare and hospital-grade masks to underserved families. Cabrera also continues to award two annual scholarships to first-generation college students in Michigan and South Florida.
Twins: Byron Buxton
Buxton, whose brother serves in the U.S. Navy, continues to dedicate time to veterans, active service members and their families. Throughout the 2022 season, he has resumed hosting military families at Target Field for batting practice, meet-and-greets and game experiences. Buxton is also a regular at Twins RBI Glove Giveaways, which distribute free baseball gloves to participants.
White Sox: Liam Hendriks
Hendriks has made contributions to support a number of causes, including hosting events for hospitalized children, their families and healthcare workers, welcoming veterans and emergency workers to the ballpark, and supporting animal welfare organizations. He and his wife, Kristi, have also remained vocal supporters of the LGBTQ+ community, and as part of the team’s Pride Night festivities, hosted teens from the Howard Brown Health Center, a nonprofit providing medical care primarily to people within the LGBTQ+ community.
Angels: Jared Walsh
Walsh has quickly become an Angels mainstay both on and off the field, as the first baseman has been extremely active in the Angels’ Rally Readers program done in conjunction with the Anaheim Public Library, along with visiting patients at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County and the Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital in Long Beach, Calif.
Astros: Jose Altuve
For the past two years, Altuve has hosted the “Uncork for a Cause” fundraiser through the Astros Foundation, which focuses on raising money and awareness for youth sports and education programs, the nation’s military, childhood cancer, domestic violence awareness and reducing homelessness.
Athletics: Tony Kemp
Along with starting the +1 Effect, a campaign built around stamping out racism through individual conversations, Kemp worked with PG&E to have trees planted in both Oakland and his hometown of Nashville.
Mariners: Marco Gonzales
In 2016, Gonzales’ mother-in-law was diagnosed with MSA, a rare, degenerative neurological disorder. In the time since, Gonzales has made his mission to use his platform to raise awareness for MSA and other neurological diseases through his work with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, among other organizations.
Rangers: Taylor Hearn
A Texas native, Hearn understands the importance of giving back to the community. Last November, Hearn started a “Week of Giving,” where he participated in multiple community outreach projects across the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex area during the week before Thanksgiving. Additionally, Hearn hosted a free ProCamp in June, where students in elementary and middle school were able to participate in drills and competitions with Hearn.
Braves: Tyler Matzek
As a former first-round pick who nearly left baseball due to the yips, Matzek understands the importance of mental health in athletics. This year, Matzek has donated $250 per strikeout to the Athletes Against Anxiety and Depression Foundation.
Marlins: Pablo López
A longtime member of the Marlins organization, López jumped headfirst into community outreach work this season by visiting with students at the Renaissance Charter School in Miami in April as a part of Stress Awareness Month. In his visit, López shared advice on how to deal with stressful situations along with advice on how to stay positive through adversity.
Mets: James McCann
In 2017, James and Jessica McCann’s children were born prematurely at 30 weeks, which led to them spending more time in the NICU unit than in their home. Now, McCann has made it his mission to help families going through similar situations. In McCann’s first season with the Mets in 2021, James and Jessica donated 106 gift cards worth $50 apiece to patients in the NICU at the Cohen Children’s Medical Center on the border of Queens and Nassau Counties.
Nationals: Josh Bell
While Bell was dealt to the Padres at the Trade Deadline, his relocation doesn’t diminish the impact he made in our nation’s capital. When Bell was traded to the Nationals in November 2020, he immediately started a public book club for adults to promote reading and literacy in the community and became the team’s player ambassador to the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy.
Phillies: Kyle Gibson
From the time Gibson broke into the Majors, he’s put an emphasis on charitable work. For the past two years, Gibson has donated to Philabundance (a Philadelphia-area nonprofit food bank) and Cradles for Crayons after every strikeout and win. Gibson has also started a Philly Fantasy Football League and Swing for Impact, a golf event that raises money for families whose children are battling cancer.
Brewers: Brent Suter
As a Harvard graduate who studied environmental science, Suter has made it his mission to raise awareness to issues surrounding the environment and climate change. Along with working to eliminate plastic water bottles in the Brewers’ clubhouse, Suter has also focused on trying to plant trees throughout Milwaukee’s urban areas.
Cardinals: Paul Goldschmidt
When Goldschmidt was in Arizona, he and his wife, Amy, used to visit the Phoenix Children’s Hospital so much that they were given permanent passes. That sense of outreach has followed Goldschmidt to St. Louis, where’s he involved in numerous charities, ranging from delivering food to St. Louis families to building a community center in the Dominican Republic.
Cubs: Jason Heyward
Heyward, an 11-year veteran, has shown leadership to a young Cubs team on and off the field. Through numerous initiatives, Heyward has demonstrated a commitment to address the inequities that communities of color face daily, coupled with generous support of the nonprofit sector.
Pirates: David Bednar
Bednar, who was born in Pittsburgh, has been a staple to the Pirates community activities over the past year, as the organization has gotten back into the community with its uniformed staff following the relaxing of COVID-19 restrictions.
Reds: Joey Votto
When you spend 20 years with the same organization, you are no longer just a player representing a team. You are a part of the city and its community. What stands out about Votto’s charitable efforts is that he chooses to do most of it behind the scenes, out of respect for the people with which he interacts. It would be impossible to keep track of all the families he has met with on his own time, and that’s the way he wants it.
D-backs: Josh Rojas
As an Arizona native, Rojas has quickly become a local community hero and fan favorite with his energetic style of play and his passion for serving the Arizona community. He supports the Little League in Buckeye, Ariz., where he played as a kid, and donates all of his gear to his high school team.
Dodgers: Justin Turner
During his eight-year tenure in Los Angeles, the native Angeleno has become ingrained in the community, giving his time, energy and financial support to a variety of charitable efforts, including the Justin Turner Foundation (JTF), which he founded in 2016 with his wife, Kourtney.
Giants: Brandon Crawford
Crawford, a Bay Area native who was raised in Pleasanton, Calif., grew up a Giants fan. It’s fitting that he’s become one of the team’s biggest advocates in the community. Throughout his decade-long career in San Francisco, the humble and soft-spoken shortstop has found ways to give back in meaningful and impactful ways to the people and community who helped to shape his life.
Padres: Craig Stammen
Stammen has long been a veterans advocate, even before joining the San Diego Padres — the Team of the Military. Stammen visited troops in Afghanistan for the first time in 2012 and hosts a yearly clinic for the United Heroes League at Petco Park, providing a free day of baseball instruction (and tickets to the Padres game) to kids from military families.
Rockies: Kyle Freeland
As a Denver kid, giving back to the Colorado community is a point of pride for Freeland. Since 2018, Freeland has been a consistent supporter of and advocate for Special Olympics Colorado. At the end of this year, one winner will be drawn for his custom-designed (for Special Olympics Colorado) practice glove. All proceeds benefit Special Olympics Colorado.