Pitcher Adam Wainwright has been named the St. Louis Cardinals 2016 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award. Wainwright will be recognized in an on-field ceremony prior to tonight’s game against the Chicago Cubs.
The Roberto Clemente Award is the annual recognition of a player from each MLB Club who best represents the game of Baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field. It is the most prominent individual player award bestowed by MLB. For the first time, fans can participate in the process of selecting the winner of the Roberto Clemente Award on social media. Fans can vote for Wainwright by posting #VoteWainwright to Twitter and on MLB and club Facebook pages through October 2nd.
“I am honored to have been selected as the Cardinals nominee for this year’s Roberto Clemente Award,” said Wainwright. “I am also humbled to be considered for such a prestigious award.”
Through his charitable foundation, Big League Impact, Wainwright has raised more than $1 million to help provide basic needs for individuals in St. Louis and around the world. Much of that money has been raised through a fantasy football initiative that has spread beyond St. Louis, and into seven other big league cities this season. As a result of his charitable efforts, Wainwright has been able to build clean water systems in developing countries, feed hungry kids around the world, cure blindness in an African community and aid in the escape of girls stuck in sex trafficking rings. Additionally, Adam’s “Wainwright’s Winners” program hosts local groups of children at Busch Stadium throughout the season. Wainwright also assists Operation Food Search, a St. Louis nonprofit organization that provides meals to the hungry. Furthermore, Adam has made it his mission to make trips outside the United State to offer in-person help as well; visiting East Africa, Mexico, Haiti and Honduras in recent off-seasons.
“Adam has been a tremendous representative for the organization, both on and off the field, for a number of years,” said Michael Hall, Vice President of Community Relations and Executive Director of Cardinals Care. “Adam’s passion for helping others is truly inspiring and we’re extremely grateful to have him as a Cardinal.”
This year, Major League Baseball has designated a seat in each ballpark, known as SEAT 21, to a well-known or local hero who embodies the humanitarian spirit of Roberto Clemente. Cardinals SEAT 21 Honoree, Virginia Braxs, currently serves as the President and Treasurer of the Hispanic Arts Council of St. Louis (HAC). The Council is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to promoting the excellence of the Hispanic culture through arts and education. Ms. Braxs has dedicated her life to providing opportunities for the Hispanic community through her work at the Hispanic Arts Council and has been an ambassador to the Hispanic Community for the Cardinals since 2013. Ms. Braxs will be recognized alongside Wainwright during tonight’s pregame ceremony.
Previous Cardinals to win the Roberto Clemente Award include Carlos Beltran (2013), Albert Pujols (2008), Ozzie Smith (1995) and Lou Brock (1975). More information and award nominees for all 30 MLB teams can be found at mlb.com/clemente.