Major League Baseball and Chevrolet, the official vehicle of Major League Baseball, today announced that Mark Kotsay was named the San Diego Padres' 2013 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Today marks the 12th 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. Kotsay 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 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.
As a son of a retired police officer, a motorcycle patrolman for the LAPD, Kotsay knows firsthand the bravery and sacrifices first responders make on our behalf. Earlier this season, Kotsay and his family donated $5,000 to the CHP 11-99 Fund to support the welfare of CHP employees and their families. Since 1982, the CHIP 11-99 Fund has distributed more than one thousand college scholarships annually to children of CHP employees. During the 2013 season, Mark participated monthly in First Responder recognition ceremonies and was inspired to give on his own and make a difference for CHP families. Kotsay has supported first responders and military programs for more than 10 years.
In addition, since his first tour of duty with the Padres from 2001-2003, he has supported the San Diego Monarch School, a school for homeless kids, MDA Jerry Lewis Telethon, the Burn Institute and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He recently taped a PSA for the San Diego Police Officer's Association and is charitable to the Cal State Fullerton Foundation and the Nativity School.
The Padres will recognize Kotsay as the club's Roberto Clemente Award nominee prior to the game vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday, September 20.
"Mark is one of those veteran players who understand the special platform that professional athletes have to make a difference in the community," said Padres Executive Chairman Ron Fowler. "Whether he's making a personal donation to support first responders and their families, or hosting members of the military at our games, Mark has been an exceptional role model for our younger players. We are especially grateful to be able to recognize his commitment to the community this year, as his career as a professional baseball player comes to an end."
"It is an honor to be nominated for this prestigious award that bears the name of not only a great player, but an even greater man," said Kotsay. "A commitment to the community, especially first responders, the police force and the military, has always been a strong focus of mine throughout my career and I am touched to be recognized as one of the nominees."
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 2012 Clayton Kershaw
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
** Originally known as the Commissioner's Award (prior to 1973)
Beginning today, on Roberto Clemente Day, fans are encouraged to participate in the process of selecting the national Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet recipient by visiting ChevyBaseball.com, which is powered by MLB Advanced Media, to vote for one of the 30 Club nominees. Voting ends on Sunday, October 6th and participating fans will be automatically registered for a chance to win a trip to the 2013 World Series, where the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet will be announced. The winner of the fan vote will receive one vote among those cast by the selection panel.
Clubs playing at home today will recognize their local nominees as part of Roberto Clemente Day ceremonies, while visiting Clubs 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.