On Tuesday, Major League Baseball announced the nominees for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award. The Nationals have selected Josh Willingham this season and they will honor his nomination during the ninth annual Roberto Clemente Day on September 8th.
The Roberto Clemente Award honors players who best represent the game of baseball through sportsmanship, community involvement and positive contributions to their teams. The award recognizes the legacy and contributions of Roberto Clemente, the 12-time 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.
Last season, Josh Willingham and his wife Ginger established the Josh Willingham Foundation to give back to the community in their hometown of Florence, Alabama. They hosted their first celebrity golf tournament last fall.
Earlier this season, Willingham visited with soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, children at Children's National Medical Center and volunteers at a USO Care Package Party at Nationals Park.
Nats fans can help Willingham win the national award by visiting www.chevy.com/clemente from September 7 to October 8. Participating fans will be automatically registered for a chance to win a trip to the 2010 World Series, where the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet will be announced.
With all due respect to Justin Morneau, who was nominated by the Minnesota Twins, it's unfortunate that former Nationals closer Matt Capps was not nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award this season. Capps participated in dozens upon dozens of community service events during his time in Washington.
Check Nats Buzz tomorrow for more on what Roberto Clemente Day means to Puerto Rican players like Pudge Rodriguez, Wil Nieves and Luis Atilano.