- Roberto Clemente Day falls on Sept. 15, 2022.
- Nominees for the annual Roberto Clemente Award are announced prior to this day.
- The award recognizes a player’s philanthropic efforts and community involvement.
- The Roberto Clemente Award winner is announced at the World Series.
There are many ways an MLB player can leave his mark on the sport, but for some, their impact extends beyond the game.
In September of each year, Major League Baseball takes a moment away from World Series odds and baseball standings to honor Roberto Clemente’s legacy and recognize sportsmanship, community involvement and positive contributions, both on and off the field.
This recognition culminates in the Roberto Clemente Award, with each team nominating one player for the honor and the winner announced at the World Series.
Who Was Roberto Clemente?
For those unfamiliar, Roberto Clemente was a 15-time All-Star who tragically died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve, 1972. At the time of his death, he was attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
Clemente played 18 seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates, winning the Gold Glove Award in 12 consecutive seasons from 1961 through 1972.
A two-time World Series champion, Clemente was the first player from the Caribbean and Latin America to win a World Series as a starting position player (1960), receive an NL MVP Award (1966), and win a World Series MVP Award (1971).
Clemente’s stellar career was recognized by his posthumous induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1973, but his hard work and dedication didn’t end on the field.
During the offseasons, Clemente was involved in charity work in Latin American and Caribbean countries, particularly delivering baseball equipment, food, and aid supplies to those in need.
Managua, the capital city of Nicaragua, was affected by a massive earthquake on Dec. 23, 1972, and Clemente arranged emergency relief flights to deliver aid to the area. After the first three flights were diverted by corrupt officials of the Somoza government, with the aid packages never reaching victims of the earthquake, Clemente joined the fourth flight in the hope that he could assist in ensuring it reached its destination.
Immediately after takeoff on Dec. 31, 1972, the plane carrying Clemente and four others crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Isla Verde due to engine failure. There were no survivors, and Clemente’s body was never recovered.
What Is Roberto Clemente Day and the Roberto Clemente Award?
After his death, Major League Baseball established Roberto Clemente Day to honor the right fielder’s incredible legacy. In September of each year, the league reflects on the efforts that players and individuals can make through community involvement and the inspirational life of Roberto Clemente.
In addition to a customized tribute video shown at games, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the team Clemente spent his entire 18-year career with, will wear No. 21. All past Roberto Clemente Award winners and this year’s Roberto Clemente Award nominees are also eligible to wear No. 21 jerseys on this day.
On or prior to Roberto Clemente Day, the nominees for the season’s Roberto Clemente Award are announced. Each team nominates one player from their team who they believe represents the game through extraordinary character, philanthropy, and positive contributions, both on and off the field.
Goldschmidt is the #STLCards' 2022 nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award and says it's a great honor.
Marmol says Goldy's work off the field is just as important as all of his work on the field: "This is a guy that truly cares about people. He is as giving as they come." pic.twitter.com/tec3002EiA
— Bally Sports Midwest (@BallySportsMW) September 9, 2022
The winner of the Roberto Clemente Award is announced at the World Series.
2022 Roberto Clemente Award Nominations
|Josh Rojas||Arizona Diamondbacks|
|Tyler Matzek||Atlanta Braves|
|Dillon Tate||Baltimore Orioles|
|Jake Diekman||Boston Red Sox|
|Jason Heyward||Chicago Cubs|
|Liam Hendriks||Chicago White Sox|
|Joey Votto||Cincinnati Reds|
|Triston McKenzie||Cleveland Guardians|
|Kyle Freeland||Colorado Rockies|
|Miguel Cabrera||Detroit Tigers|
|José Altuve||Houston Astros|
|Nicky Lopez||Kansas City Royals|
|Jared Walsh||Los Angeles Angels|
|Justin Turner||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Pablo López||Miami Marlins|
|Brent Suter||Milwaukee Brewers|
|Byron Buxton||Minnesota Twins|
|James McCann||New York Mets|
|Jose Trevino||New York Yankees|
|Tony Kemp||Oakland Athletics|
|Kyle Gibson||Philadelphia Phillies|
|David Bednar||Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Craig Stammen||San Diego Padres|
|Brandon Crawford||San Francisco Giants|
|Marco Gonzales||Seattle Mariners|
|Paul Goldschmidt||St. Louis Cardinals|
|Brandon Lowe||Tampa Bay Rays|
|Taylor Hearn||Texas Rangers|
|Bo Bichette||Toronto Blue Jays|
|Josh Bell||Washington Nationals|
Which Players Have Won the Roberto Clemente Award?
|1971||Willie Mays||San Francisco Giants|
|1972||Brooks Robinson||Baltimore Orioles|
|1973||Al Kaline||Detroit Tigers|
|1974||Willie Stargell||Pittsburgh Pirates|
|1975||Lou Brock||St. Louis Cardinals|
|1976||Pete Rose||Cincinnati Reds|
|1977||Rod Carew||Minnesota Twins|
|1978||Greg Luzinski||Philadelphia Phillies|
|1979||Andre Thornton||Cleveland Indians|
|1980||Phil Niekro||Atlanta Braves|
|1981||Steve Garvey||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|1982||Ken Singleton||Baltimore Orioles|
|1983||Cecil Cooper||Milwaukee Brewers|
|1984||Ron Guidry||New York Yankees|
|1985||Don Baylor||New York Yankees|
|1986||Garry Maddox||Philadelphia Phillies|
|1987||Rick Sutcliffe||Chicago Cubs|
|1988||Dale Murphy||Atlanta Braves|
|1989||Gary Carter||New York Mets|
|1990||Dave Stewart||Oakland Athletics|
|1991||Harold Reynolds||Seattle Mariners|
|1992||Cal Ripken Jr.||Baltimore Orioles|
|1993||Barry Larkin||Cincinnati Reds|
|1994||Dave Winfield||Minnesota Twins|
|1995||Ozzie Smith||St. Louis Cardinals|
|1996||Kirby Puckett||Minnesota Twins|
|1997||Eric Davis||Baltimore Orioles|
|1998||Sammy Sosa||Chicago Cubs|
|1999||Tony Gwynn||San Diego Padres|
|2000||Al Leiter||New York Mets|
|2001||Curt Schilling||Arizona Diamondbacks|
|2002||Jim Thorne||Cleveland Indians|
|2003||Jamie Moyer||Seattle Mariners|
|2004||Edgar Martínez||Seattle Mariners|
|2005||John Smoltz||Atlanta Braves|
|2006||Carlos Delgado||New York Mets|
|2007||Craig Biggio||Houston Astros|
|2008||Albert Pujols||St. Louis Cardinals|
|2009||Derek Jeter||New York Yankees|
|2010||Tim Wakefield||Boston Red Sox|
|2011||David Ortiz||Boston Red Sox|
|2012||Clayton Kershaw||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|2013||Carlos Beltrán||St. Louis Cardinals|
|2014||Paul Konerko||Chicago White Sox|
|2014||Jimmy Rollins||Philadelphia Phillies|
|2015||Andrew McCutchen||Pittsburgh Pirates|
|2016||Curtis Granderson||New York Mets|
|2017||Anthony Rizzo||Chicago Cubs|
|2018||Yadier Molina||St. Louis Cardinals|
|2019||Carlos Carrasco||Cleveland Indians|
|2020||Adam Wainwright||St. Louis Cardinals|
|2021||Nelson Cruz||Tampa Bay Rays/Minnesota Twins|