Major League Baseball and Chevrolet announced that Torii Hunter was named the Minnesota Twins 2015 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award.
Sept. 16 marked the 14th 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. Hunter is one of the 30 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. The award pays tribute to Clemente’s achievements and character by recognizing current players who truly understand the value of helping others.
Hunter currently oversees the Torii Hunter Project, a comprehensive, long-term effort to impact youth in need in various parts of the United States. Torii and his wife Katrina have personally contributed more than $1 million to the project, which has impacted nearly 50,000 middle and high school students in five states and has provided more than 100 students with college scholarships. In addition to the Torii Hunter Project, Hunter is involved with many local charities including Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County, the Probation Community Action Association, the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Since 2004, more than 50,000 disadvantaged youth have attended a Twins game for free through Hunter’s community ticket program called Hunter’s Homies. Since his return to the Twins in 2014, Hunter has worked with local family shelters to bring homeless youth to the ball park and provide them with clothing and shoes. He has also partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs to raise more than $230,000 for the local organization in just one year.
“Few are as deserving as Torii Hunter to win this prestigious community service award,” said Bryan Donaldson, executive director of the Minnesota Twins Community Fund. “He has been truly dedicated to the community throughout his career with the Twins, Angels and Tigers.”
“I’ve been blessed to be able to play the great game of baseball and it’s an honor to be nominated for this award,” said Hunter. “It has been an even bigger honor to serve the youth in these great communities that have embraced me.”
Fans are encouraged to participate in the process of selecting the winner of the Roberto Clemente Award by visiting www.chevybaseball.com to vote for one of the 30 nominees. Participating fans will be automatically registered for a chance to win a trip to the 2015 World Series, where the winner of the Roberto Clemente Award will be announced.
The concept of honoring players for their philanthropic work was created in 1971 as the Commissioner’s Award, but was renamed to the Roberto Clemente Award in 1973 in honor of the Hall of Famer and 15-time All-Star who died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. Each September since 2002, Major League Baseball has commemorated Roberto Clemente Day.