BOSTON RED SOX NOMINATE KEVIN YOUKILIS FOR THE
2009 ROBERTO CLEMENTE AWARD PRESENTED BY CHEVY
2009 ROBERTO CLEMENTE AWARD PRESENTED BY CHEVY
Fans Have Opportunity to Vote Online for the National Winner of Prestigious Award
Kevin Youkilis today was named the Boston Red Sox’ nominee for the 2009 Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevy. He is one of 30 Major League Club nominees for the national 2009 Roberto Clemente Award, which is given annually to the Major League Baseball player who combines exceptional performance on the baseball field with devoted work in the community.
Tomorrow will mark the eighth annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball to honor the legacy of Roberto Clemente. Fans are encouraged to participate in the selection of the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevy. From September 2 through October 4, 2009, fans can log on to www.chevy.com/clemente and vote for one of the 30 Club nominees.
The Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevy, is part of Chevy’s official sponsorship of Major League Baseball, and recognizes those players who best represent the game of baseball through sportsmanship, community involvement and positive contributions to their teams. The award is named for Clemente, a 12-time All-Star and Hall of Famer who died on New Year’s Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. This award perpetuates Clemente’s legacy and character by recognizing current-day players who truly understand the value of helping others.
Over the past two years, Kevin Youkilis and his charity, Hits for Kids, have impacted the lives of over 1,000 children and raised nearly $2 million through charitable events and programs. Kevin has partnered with organizations on issues that are close to his heart such as premature child-birth, early childhood literacy and teen suicide prevention.
In the spring, Kevin and Hits for Kids partnered with the March of Dimes to raise over $20,000 to fund research to prevent premature childbirth. He joined with Raising a Reader Massachusetts to raise over $125,000 to help provide low income families with the tools and resources they need to encourage literacy from an early age. Kevin also teamed up this year with the Riverside Trauma Center to raise money and awareness about teen suicide prevention with their “Striking Out Teenage Suicide” event. This event was created after a Boston suburb lost five high school students to suicide in five years. In an effort to make a difference, Kevin spoke to an audience of family and friends who had lost loved ones and shared his personal story of losing several friends to suicide.
Since 2006 Kevin has welcomed children to Fenway Park through his ticket program, “Youk’s Kids”. Kevin purchases 10 tickets to one game per month during the regular season and provides the tickets to children from area non-profit organizations. Not only do the kids get to enjoy a Red Sox game, but they also get to meet Kevin prior to batting practice and Kevin spends time with them posing for photos and signing autographs.
In the offseason, Youkilis continues to be an active leader in the community, hosting pizza dinners for children from local reading groups, trick or treating on Halloween at a local children’s hospital, spending every Christmas morning visiting patients at Boston Children’s Hospital, and participating in events to support the Red Sox Foundation, the team’s official charity.
“Being a pro athlete in Boston, kids automatically look up to you,” said Youkilis. “I try to tell them that you have to work to achieve your life’s goals and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. You can do anything you put your mind to.”
Kevin will be recognized as the Red Sox’ nominee for the 2009 Roberto Clemente Award during a ceremony before the game on Tuesday, September 8, 2009.
There have been 13 Baseball Hall of Famers who have won the Roberto Clemente Award, including Willie Mays, Brooks Robinson, Al kaline, Willie Stargell, Lou Brock, Rod Carew, Phil Niekro, Cal Ripken, Jr, Gary Carter, Ozzie Smith, Kirby Puckett, and Tony Gwynn. Youk would be Red Sox player to win the award as a member of the team.
The winner of the fan poll will receive one vote among those cast by the official selection panel, which includes Vera Clemente, wife of the late Hall of Famer, and Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. Participating fans automatically will be registered for a chance to win a trip to Game Three of the 2009 World Series, where the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevy will be announced. MLB celebrates Roberto Clemente Day as part of its broader “MLB Going Beyond” platform, an initiative that strives to integrate community service and the importance of giving back.
Courtesy:Boston Red Sox Communicatons