The Orioles and Major League Baseball announced Sept. 3 that Hanser Alberto has been named the Orioles’ 2020 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award. The most prominent individual player award bestowed by MLB, the Roberto Clemente Award is the annual recognition of a player from each club who best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, sportsmanship, community involvement, philanthropy, and positive contributions, both on and off the field.
The Orioles will join all of Major League Baseball in celebrating the 19th annual Roberto Clemente Day on Sept. 9, during the 7:10 p.m. game against the New York Mets at Citi Field. This commemorative day was established by Major League Baseball to honor Clemente’s legacy and to officially acknowledge local club nominees of the Roberto Clemente Award. As part of the league-wide celebration, the Roberto Clemente Day logo will appear on the bases and official dugout lineup cards, and a special tribute video will be played in ballparks.
As part of this nomination and in recognition of Alberto’s exemplary commitment to serving his community, the Orioles Charitable Foundation will match MLB in donating $7,500 to charities of Alberto’s choosing. The $15,000 donation will be split between Fundación Alberto Brito, the Alberto’s family foundation serving their hometown of San Francisco de Macoris, Dominican Republic, and a Baltimore-based charitable organization.
In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Alberto made it his mission to support his hometown as his community navigated an unprecedented crisis. In May, San Francisco de Macorís was the center of the Dominican Republic’s COVID19 pandemic and access to the city was completely restricted. Alberto and his family worked with former teammates ELVIS ANDRUS, ADRIAN BELTRE, and ROBINSON CHIRINOS to help distribute food, medicine, and other essential items to more than 500 families in need. To help combat the COVID-19 pandemic in Baltimore, Alberto has recorded essential public health announcements for the Maryland Department of Health in both English and Spanish, making critical health and safety messages accessible for all.
As a champion for his hometown, Alberto has worked tirelessly to provide for the San Francisco de Macorís community through his family foundation, which he launched in 2015. During the 2019 offseason, Alberto participated in “Game of Legends” in Santo Domingo, an annual charity exhibition and home run derby featuring current and former Dominican Major League players to benefit the St. Jude Foundation. He also visited the Hospital Infantil Regional Universitario to donate holiday gifts to patients, providing toys for over 500 children.
Since joining the Orioles in 2018, Alberto has been a steady presence in the Orioles’ lineup and in the team’s community efforts. This offseason, Alberto joined Orioles Executive Vice President and General Manager MIKE ELIAS during the Birdland Caravan to visit Fort Meade, Maryland’s largest military base. The two spent the afternoon with the Better Opportunities for Single Service Members (BOSS) program, which provides unique and engaging experiences for service members who are on the base without their families or loved ones nearby. Alberto and Elias helped boost morale by joining the Gaming Club in playing board games and interacting with active duty service members. In addition, Alberto has recorded instructional training videos to engage with young athletes through the Orioles Digital Kids Corner, and regularly participates in the club’s year-round community initiatives.
With the absence of fans during the 2020 season, Alberto serves as the team’s most prominent source of energy, bringing excitement and passion for his teammates each and every night. On the field, Alberto has continued to excel after the best year of his career in 2019. He currently ranks among American League leaders in several offensive categories, including hits (45 – T-2nd), doubles (12 – T-4th), batting average (.321 – 6th), and runs scored (24 – T-11th).
The league-wide winner of the Roberto Clemente Award will be selected via a blue ribbon panel, including Baseball Commissioner ROBERT D. MANFRED, JR., representatives from MLB-affiliated networks (MLB Network, FOX Sports, ESPN and TBS), MLB.com, and Roberto’s children, ENRIQUE, LUIS and ROBERTO CLEMENTE, JR. Beginning today, Sept. 9, and continuing until the conclusion of the regular season on Sept. 27, fans can vote for the overall winner of the Roberto Clemente Award at mlb.com/clemente21. The winner of the fan vote will count as one vote among those cast by the blue ribbon panel.
The concept of honoring Major League 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.
— Baltimore Orioles press release
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