Teixeira a finalist for Clemente AwardFirst baseman is one of 30 nominees for MLB service honor
One player from each club is named as a finalist for the award, which was established in 1971 and “pays tribute to Clemente’s achievements and character by recognizing current players who truly understand the value of helping others,” and MLB announced that list on Tuesday. The date also marks “Roberto Clemente Day” around the league, and all MLB teams playing at home, including the Yankees, will honor their nominees in an on-field ceremony prior to Tuesday night’s games.
From the Yankees’ own release announcing Teixeira’s nomination:
A natural and avid philanthropist, Teixeira has been involved in charitable endeavors throughout his big-league career. In 2006, Mark and his wife, Leigh, established the Mark Teixeira Charitable Fund, an initiative that awarded several scholarships to students from multiple high schools in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Three years later in 2009, he served as a spokesman for the National Foundation for Cancer Research through the organization’s “Help Strike Out Sun Damage” program.
Teixeira has been an avid supporter of Harlem RBI, a nonprofit organization in East Harlem, New York, that provides more than 1,200 boys and girls, ages 5-22, with year-round academic, sports and enrichment programs. In 2011, he made a $1 million donation to Harlem RBI and has been calling on his fans to help raise additional funds through his Dream Team 25 campaign. The fundraising campaign is helping the organization build a 45-seat public charter school facility, a new community center, 87 units of low-income housing and a rebuilt public park in the Harlem community. All are designed to serve as a model for urban development.
In addition, Teixeira, who is the Co-Chair of the organization’s $20 million Capital Campaign and the Chair of the organization’s Home Run Leadership Council, works with Major League Baseball to connect with RBI programs nationally through in-stadium appearance with fellow Major League Baseball players and supports local RBI programs around the country.
Fans will help decide the 2012 Roberto Clemente Award winner, and you can cast your vote for one of the 30 nominees at www.mlb.com/ClementeAward. Voting is open until 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 14, and fans who vote will be entered to win a trip to the 2012 World Series.
Should Teixeira win, he would be the fourth Yankee overall and sixth member of the Bombers family to win the award. Ron Guidry (1974), Don Baylor (1985), and Derek Jeter (2009) all won the award while playing for the Bombers, and a pair of current YES Network broadcasters, Ken Singleton (1982 while with the Orioles) and Al Leiter (2000 with the Mets), have also won it as well.
A Boston Red Sox player has won the award in each of the last two years, with pitcher Tim Wakefield honored in 2010 and designated hitter David Ortiz winning last season.
Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroYES