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Gregerson named Padres' nominee for 2012 Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet

Major League Baseball and Chevrolet, the official vehicle of Major League Baseball, today announced that pitcher Luke Gregerson was named the Padres’ 2012 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Today marks the eleventh 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. Gregerson 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.

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. 

Gregerson’s community efforts are inspired, in large part, by his upbringing, which included a close relationship with his foster cousin, Antwan Turpeau. Today, Turpeau, who has a Master’s degree in Social Work from Loyola University of Chicago, is co-founder and executive director of SYESA (see-saw), or Struggling Youth Equals Successful Adults. SYESA is a charitable organization with a mission to coach struggling youth to overcome obstacles in the lives by pairing them with successful adults.

For the past two seasons, Gregerson has hosted charity events in San Diego to benefit SYESA and Just in Time for Foster Youth (JIT), an organization with the mission to provide transitioning foster youth with opportunities for self-sufficiency through emergency support, essential resources, and caring personal guidance at critical junctures on their path to independence.

In addition to his efforts on behalf of SYESA and Just in Time for Foster Youth, Gregerson is a fixture in the San Diego community, regularly volunteering his time for club-organized events. Since 2009, he has participated in Rady Children’s Hospital’s Annual Celebration of Champions run to celebrate the courage and determination of “champions” – children and young adults who are fighting cancer. Gregerson also visits with kids from the Make-A-Wish Foundation once a month during their VIP Night at Petco Park.

For the past three seasons, Gregerson has served as a celebrity waiter at the STAR/PAL “Celebrity Waiters Luncheon.” STAR/PAL offers free youth programs and positive interaction with committed volunteers that include law enforcement officers, firefighters and community business leaders. STAR stands for Sports, Training, Academics and Recreation and PAL stands for Police Athletic League.

Gregerson is a team leader promoting the MLBPA Players Trust efforts, participating each year in MLBPA Players Trust Buses for Baseball program. In 2012, Gregerson hosted the MLBPA Players Trust City Clinic, and in 2010, he hosted high school action team leaders and participated in a pregame ceremony with the MLBPA Players Trust Action Team.

Gregerson’s commitment to the community earned him the San Diego Padres’ 2011 Chairman’s Award for Community Service. The Padres will honor Gregerson and recognize his Roberto Clemente Award nomination during an on-field pregame ceremony on Friday, September 28.

 “Luke is one of the first players to sign up for every Padres community event and is a positive role model for young fans,” said Padres President and CEO Tom Garfinkel. “Whether he’s visiting a children’s hospital, hosting a baseball clinic or spending time with service members on a local military base, Luke understands the importance of giving back and making a positive impact in the community. He exemplifies the values of the Roberto Clemente Award and we are proud to have him as our nominee.”

“It's an honor to be nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award,” said Gregerson. “As athletes, we are put in a unique position to help in ways that others can't. I am lucky to have been given the opportunity to contribute off the field.”

The distinguished list of past national Roberto Clemente Award recipients includes 14 members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame:

1971

Willie Mays+

1982

Ken Singleton

1993

Barry Larkin+

2004

Edgar Martinez

1972

Brooks Robinson+

1983

Cecil Cooper 

1994

Dave Winfield+

2005

John Smoltz

1973

Al Kaline+

1984

Ron Guidry

1995

Ozzie Smith+

2006

Carlos Delgado

1974

Willie Stargell+

1985

Don Baylor

1996

Kirby Puckett+

2007

Craig Biggio

1975

Lou Brock+

1986

Garry Maddox

1997

Eric Davis

2008

Albert Pujols

1976

Pete Rose

1987

Rick Sutcliffe

1998

Sammy Sosa

2009

Derek Jeter

1977

Rod Carew+

1988

Dale Murphy

1999

Tony Gwynn+

2010

Tim Wakefield

1978

Greg Luzinski

1989

Gary Carter+

2000

Al Leiter

2011

David Ortiz

1979

Andre Thornton

1990

Dave Stewart

2001

Curt Schilling

   

1980

Phil Niekro+

1991

Harold Reynolds

2002

Jim Thome

   

1981

Steve Garvey

1992

Cal Ripken, Jr.+

2003

Jamie Moyer

   

+ Member of the Baseball Hall of Fame

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.

All Clubs playing at home today will recognize their local nominees as part of Roberto Clemente Day ceremonies, while each visiting Club 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.

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