Major League Baseball and Chevrolet, the official vehicle of Major League Baseball, today announced that Juan Pierre was named the White Sox 2011 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Pierre is one of the 30 Club finalists for the annual award, which recognizes a Major League Baseball player who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement. Tomorrow will mark the tenth annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball to honor Clemente’s legacy and to officially recognize local Club nominees of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet.
The Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet pays tribute to Clemente’s achievements and character by recognizing current players who truly understand the value of helping others. It is named for the 12-time MLB 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.
Pierre began his own charitable cause, “Pierre’s Pack,” in 2003, to assist inner-city youths from different non-profit agencies. Six times a year, Pierre provides “Pack” members with transportation, food, drink, t-shirts and a suite to enjoy a White Sox game.
The outfielder also participates with the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program and serves as the White Sox RBI Honorary Team Captain, having spent time with and speaking to his teams prior to White Sox home games.
Pierre has participated in teams’ fan festivals throughout his career, including SoxFest in January and Jackie Robinson Luncheon in April. In August, Pierre was part of Chicago’s Bud Billiken Parade and he also attended the Paul Konerko and Gordon Beckham “Grand Slam Party,” a fundraiser for Children’s Home + Aid adoption agency. The outfielder also worked at a soup kitchen and participated in the Boys & Girls Club holiday party last December.
He will be recognized during in special ceremony tomorrow prior to the start of the White Sox vs. Detroit Tigers game at 1:10 p.m. CT.
“Juan truly embodies the mission of Chicago White Sox Charities and our community outreach initiatives,” said Christine O’Reilly, White Sox senior director of community relations. “He has helped improved the improve the lives of so many inner-city kids by offering them opportunities they might not otherwise be able to afford.”
“I am humbled to receive this nomination,” said Pierre. “Roberto Clemente was a great man on and off-the field, and it is a true privilege to be considered for the Award named in his honor.”
The distinguished list of national Roberto Clemente Award recipients includes 13 members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame:
1971 Willie Mays* 1985 Don Baylor 1998 Sammy Sosa
1972 Brooks Robinson* 1986 Garry Maddox 1999 Tony Gwynn*
1973 Al Kaline* 1987 Rick Sutcliffe 2000 Al Leiter
1974 Willie Stargell* 1988 Dale Murphy 2001 Curt Schilling
1975 Lou Brock* 1989 Gary Carter* 2002 Jim Thome
1976 Pete Rose 1990 Dave Stewart 2003 Jamie Moyer
1977 Rod Carew* 1991 Harold Reynolds 2004 Edgar Martinez
1978 Greg Luzinski 1992 Cal Ripken, Jr.* 2005 John Smoltz
1979 Andre Thornton 1993 Barry Larkin 2006 Carlos Delgado
1980 Phil Niekro* 1994 Dave Winfield* 2007 Craig Biggio
1981 Steve Garvey 1995 Ozzie Smith* 2008 Albert Pujols
1982 Ken Singleton 1996 Kirby Puckett* 2009 Derek Jeter
1983 Cecil Cooper 1997 Eric Davis 2010 Tim Wakefield
1984 Ron Guidry