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Ryan Zimmerman named Nationals nominee for the 2012 Roberto Clemente Award

September 18, 2012 in Major League Baseball

Major League Baseball and Chevrolet, the official vehicle of Major League Baseball, today announced that Ryan Zimmerman was named the Washington Nationals' 2012 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Today marks the eleventh 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. Zimmerman 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.

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. The Award is named for the 15-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.

Zimmerman’s commitment to the community is best illustrated through his work with the ziMS Foundation, which he founded in 2006, his first full season in the Major Leagues. The ziMS Foundation aims to raise money for multiple sclerosis awareness and programs benefitting those afflicted with the disease. Serving as president, Zimmerman is actively involved in and donates his time, money and image to promoting the foundation. This year the foundation expects to surpass $1 million in donations for MS charities and research. The foundation holds several fundraising events annually, including ziMS Funfest, the Golf and Gala and the popular Night at the Park held at Nationals Park. Zimmerman’s community outreach also includes visits to local children’s hospitals several times each season.

Since becoming the first draft pick in Washington Nationals history in 2005, Zimmerman has been a standout on and off the field. He is well-decorated for his contributions in the community, having won the 2011 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award and the 2009 Jefferson Award for public service, as well as being selected as the Nationals nominee for the Roberto Clemente in Award in 2007 and the Branch Rickey Award in 2011 and 2012. In addition to honoring Zimmerman as part of a special on-field ceremony prior to tonight’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, video tributes celebrating Clemente’s career and dedication to helping others will run throughout the evening.

“We are so proud to have Ryan represent the Nationals,” Lara Potter, Nationals Vice President of Communications said. “His strength of character, dedication to helping others and passion for the game truly illustrate the ideals set forth by Roberto Clemente.”

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 2011 – David Ortiz

*Member of Baseball Hall of Fame

Beginning today, fans are encouraged to participate in the process of selecting the award recipient by visiting MLB.com/ClementeAward to vote for one of the 30 Club nominees. Fans will be automatically registered for a chance to win a trip to the 2012 World Series, where the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet will be announced. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 14th, and the winner of the fan poll will receive one vote among those cast by a selection panel.

All Clubs playing at home today will recognize their local nominees as part of Roberto Clemente Day ceremonies, while each visiting Club will honor their nominees before another September home game. As part of the league-wide celebration, the Roberto Clemente Day logo will appear on the bases and the official dugout lineup cards.


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