Earlier this week the Orioles and Major League Baseball announced that Jeremy Guthrie was named the O’s 2010 nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award.
Guthrie is one of 30 nominees, one from each club, who are also finalists for the national award, which is given each year to “the Major League Baseball player who combines a dedication to giving back to the community with outstanding skills on the baseball field.”
In its ninth year, Roberto Clemente Day aims to honor Clemente’s legacy and officially recognize a player from each Major League club who continually works to ensure that legacy lives on in baseball and the community.
According to a statement released by the Orioles, “The Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet recognizes players who best represent the game of baseball through sportsmanship, community involvement and positive contributions to their Clubs.
“The award is named for 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.
“The award pays tribute to Clemente’s achievements and character by recognizing talented current players who truly understand the value of helping others.”
So what makes Guthrie deserving of this year’s nomination? Plenty.
During Guthrie’s last video chat here on MASNsports.com, a fan asked him if he had plans to start a foundation (like Nick Markakis’ Right Side Foundation) or if there was a particular cause (like B-Rob and the Children’s Hospital) that he felt especially devoted to.
Though Guthrie hasn’t devoted himself to a particular cause or foundation, he has been active with a wide array of area organizations, such as Baltimore’s Helping Up Mission, a program that serves the spiritual and physical needs of poor and homeless men.
The O’s hurler also gives motivational speeches to groups in the Baltimore and Sarasota areas, visits wounded soldiers, and participates in the Orioles’ annual Holiday Party for underprivileged children.
Though the most obvious contribution to his community is often a player’s time and presence, Guthrie and his wife Jenny have also donated $5,000 to the Maryland Food Bank and $5,000 to the OriolesREACH Gameday Experience program, which gives underprivileged youth a chance to attend an Orioles game, complete with transportation, concessions, and giveaways.
But after the qualifications are listed, it comes down to a vote by the Award’s selection panel and you, the fans.
You can help Jeremy Guthrie earn an extra vote by participating in the process and going to www.chevy.com/clemente between now and October 8 to cast your vote for the O’s representative - not to mention you’ll also be automatically registered for a chance to win a trip to the 2010 World Series, where the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award will ultimately be announced.