On Friday the winner – or winners in this case – for the prestigious and coveted Roberto Clemente Award were announced. 2014 marks the first year that there have ever been two co-winners of the award.
The award is named for the the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente. Clemente was better off the field than he was spectacular on the field. He wowed fans in the 1950’s and 1960’s, leading the Pirates to a World Series victory in 1960. He collected this 3,000 hit in what would be his last ever ballgame.
Clemente was a humanitarian off the field, always personally assisting countries in need. He passed away in a plane crash, while delievering supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
The award is given each year to the player that has expressed greatness on the field but especially those who show greatness out in their comunities and the world, true humaitarians.
This year the award was, for the first time, given to two players who equally deserved the award: Paul Konerko, who recently retired from the Chicago White Sox, and Jimmy Rollins of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Konerko, along with help from former teammates, the retired Jim Thome and current Los Angeles Dodger Gordam Beckham, founded the “Bring Me Home Campaign,”which raised almost half a million dollars to help foster children in Illinois.
Rollins has raised over a million dollars to help children in Philadelphia. Through fundraisining efforts Rollins has launched two children’s programs.
Rollin’s main programs are J-Roll’s Aces, which help under priviledged childern have access to tickets to the Phillies’ games. His other program, J-Roll Reader’s, helps educate inner city students in Philly.
Both candidates are worthy of the Roberto Clemente Award and it’s always neat when there is a MLB first! Congrats to Paul Konerko and Jimmy Rollins for being the first ever co-recipients of the 2014 Roberto Clemente Award!