Major League Baseball and Chevrolet, the official vehicle of Major League Baseball, today announced that Justin Verlander was named the Detroit Tigers 2011 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Verlander 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.
Tomorrow will mark the tenth 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.
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. It is named for the 12-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.
This season, Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers teamed up for the very special Verlander’s Victory for Veterans Program, which began in May and has continued through each of his home starts. Verlander has hosted Veterans throughout the season from the John D. Dingell Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Detroit and the Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System. The hosted Veterans sustained injuries or illness in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom or in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom.
The Veterans along with their families have continued to cheer on the Tigers from the comfort of Verlander’s personal luxury suite. After serving our country, Verlander’s Victory for Veterans has provided American Veterans with the special opportunity to enjoy a Tigers game with their family. Verlander is scheduled to be recognized for his nomination during a special on-field pregame ceremony at Comerica Park during the last homestand of the season.
"Justin Verlander is quite deserving of his nomination for the Roberto Clemente Award," said Elaine Lewis, Tigers' Vice President of Community Affairs and Strategic Planning. "Justin's dedication to the community exemplifies the character of the Detroit Tigers both on and off the field."