Wednesday also marks the sixth annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball in 2002 to honor the memory of Roberto Clemente and to officially recognize local Club recipients of the Roberto Clemente Award.
The Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet, is part of the company’s official sponsorship of Major League Baseball, and recognizes those players who best exemplify the game of baseball through sportsmanship, community involvement and positive contributions to their teams. The award is named for Clemente, a 12-time All-Star and Hall of Famer who was killed on New Year’s Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. This award perpetuates Clemente’s memory and character by recognizing current-day players who truly understand the value of helping others.
This past May, Wilson hosted his 3rd annual ‘Bowling with the Bucs’ tournament to raise money for Pirates Charities and the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Western Pennsylvania and Southern West Virginia. He and his wife Julie donate their personal time to help plan the event, secure a wide-range of memorabilia from teammates and friends throughout Major League Baseball, recruit Jack’s teammates and members of the Pirates broadcast team to participate in the event and make a personal monetary contribution. In 2007, this event netted over $20,000 for Pirates Charities and Make-A-Wish. Over the three years Jack has hosted this event, the charities have received more than $57,000.00. Those funds helped to fulfill almost twenty wishes for kids with life-threatening illnesses.
Throughout the year, Jack assists the Pirates with many other charitable projects, including the Juvenile Diabetes PLAY Campaign. As a result of being nominated for the Clemente Award, Jack has decided to donate the cash portion of this award to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Jack also participated in the ballclub’s “Gloves for Kids” event this past April and Kids Autograph Days at PNC Park. He is very supportive of the charitable activities of the Pirates Wives Organization and continues to be a role-model for children in the Pittsburgh region.
This will be Jack’s 3rd nomination for the national Roberto Clemente Award.
“It is an honor for me to receive the Roberto Clemente Award,” said Wilson. “It’s especially meaningful since Clemente played his entire career in a Pirates uniform. It’s very important to me and my family that we give back to our community. We are very blessed to be able to do what we do for a living, and I try to do whatever I can to help those that have not been as fortunate.”
Jack will be recognized for his efforts during an on-field ceremony prior to the 12:35 game against the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday, September 12.
For the first time, fans can participate in the selection process of the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. From September 5 through October 5, 2007, fans can log on to mlb.com/chevy21 and vote for one of the 30 Club nominees. The fan vote winner will be tallied as one vote among those cast by the selection panel, which includes Vera Clemente, wife of the late Hall of Famer, and Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. Participating fans will automatically be registered for a chance to win a trip to Game Three of the 2007 World Series, where the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award, presented by Chevrolet will be announced.
As the official sponsor of the Roberto Clemente Award, Chevrolet will donate $7,500 to the charity of choice of each of the 30 Club recipients. Chevrolet will also be making a $30,000 donation to the charity of choice of the national Roberto Clemente Award winner and a $30,000 contribution to Roberto Clemente Sports City in Puerto Rico.