Tuesday (9-17-13) was the 12th Annual Roberto Clemente Day in Major League Baseball, it’s to honor the great Pittsburgh Pirate Outfielder, Roberto Clemente.
The 15-time All-Star and Hall of Famer not knowingly ended his career reaching 3,000th hits in his last at bat of the ’72 season. He died later that year on New Years Eve when the plane he was in crashed. Clemente was in route to deliver supplies, and help earthquake victems in his homeland of Nicaragua.
The Roberto Clemente Award which up until 1973 was known as the Commissioner’s Award is given to the player at the end of each season who exemplifies what Clemente was about, and truly understands the value of helping others. Each of the 30 MLB teams have one representative in the running. The Brewers nominated Jonathon Lucroy, and for good reason.
Lucroy has been a consistent supporter of military initiatives, primarily Fisher House Wisconsin, which is a facility for military veterans and their families receiving treatment at the Milwaukee VA Hospital. Each month, he invites wounded heroes to Brewers games and meets with them. He often visits veterans’ hospitals in Milwaukee, on road trips and near his home in Louisiana. Lucroy also provided in-kind support and recorded a PSA for the city-wide initiative to hire veterans. For the past three years, he has provided $5,000 scholarships to military families.
Lucroy is active with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, granting wishes and visiting hospitals. He created a PSA for Fisher House as well as the Brewers Community Foundation’s 5K Sausage Run/Walk in support of Fisher House and served as a spokesperson for the MDA Team Muscle Walk and BCF’s Drive for Charity. He also participates in the Brewers’ youth clinics. Additionally, Lucroy supports the Miracle League, which allows all children to play organized baseball regardless of ability. Along with his military support, he has been very supportive of Brewers Community Foundation, which focuses on health, education, recreation and basic needs. (courtesy of the Milwaukee Brewers).
The only other Brewer to win the award was Cecil Cooper in 1983.
Fans can get involved and I encourage that they do by going to www.ChevyBaseball.com and vote for Lucroy…voting ends October 6th. As an extra incentive all fans that vote, Chevrolet will award one lucky voter a trip to the 2013 World Series, where the Award will be presented . Past Clemete Award Winners include:
|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)
I had a chance to ask Jonathon about being the Brewers representative, here’s what he had to say: