Roberto Clemente Award
Since 1971, Major League Baseball has annually presented an award to recognize a player who combines outstanding skills on the field with devoted work in the community. In 1973, the award was named in honor of Clemente, who died on December 31, 1972 during a humanitarian mission to assist earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
During the season, each Major League club selects a local Roberto Clemente Award recipient. The local honoree is then eligible for the national Roberto Clemente Award, which is presented annually at the World Series.
The 30 club nominees for the 2004 Roberto Clemente Award were announced on September 22 as part of Roberto Clemente Day. Roberto Clemente Day was created by Major League Baseball in 2002 as a league-wide effort to honor the memory of Roberto Clemente and recognize the local club nominees.
In recognition of each local club recipient and national nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, John Hancock Financial Services made a $2,500 donation in the name of each local recipient to his charity of choice.
A panel of dignitaries including Commissioner Alan H. (Bud) Selig, Vera Clemente, the wife of the late Roberto Clemente and David D'Alessandro, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of John Hancock Financial Services, selects the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by John Hancock from the 30 club nominees.
The national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award receives a trophy and a $25,000 donation in his name from John Hancock Financial Services to the charity of his choice. John Hancock also makes a $30,000 contribution in the name of the winner to Roberto Clemente Sports City in Puerto Rico.
John Hancock has been the title sponsor of the Roberto Clemente Award since 2000. In addition to sponsoring the Award, John Hancock provides youth in cities throughout the country the opportunity to participate in Roberto Clemente Lifeskills Workshops. The goal of the workshops is to teach inner-city youth about Roberto Clemente and to instill in them the exemplary values Clemente demonstrated on and off the field, including perseverance, leadership, and the importance of giving back to the community.
Source: MLB Public Relations Department.