Major League Baseball and Chevrolet, the official vehicle of Major League Baseball, has announced that Jimmy Rollins was named the Phillies’ 2012 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Tuesday, September 18 marked the eleventh 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. Rollins 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.

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. The Award is named for the 15-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. 

The Jimmy Rollins Family Foundation, which was launched in 2009, strives to help children and young adults living with arthritis by providing funds and awareness about the disease. The Foundation also supports families that are struggling financially to help their children participate in extracurricular activities.  In an effort to raise awareness and funds to benefit the Rollins Family Foundation and the Arthritis Foundation, Rollins and his wife, Johari, host an annual Celebrity BaseBOWL Tournament at Lucky Strike Bowling Lanes in Philadelphia. The event, which raised over $178,000 in August 2012 and nearly $1 million since 2006, has helped send children to Camp JRA (Juveniles Reaching Achievement), a week-long camp for kids ages 8-18 with arthritis and other rheumatic diseases.

The Foundation hosted its first offseason fundraiser called Havana Nights in November 2011 to benefit Prevent Child Abuse Pennsylvania. The Cuban-themed evening featured Jimmy Rollins and celebrity guests, a Cuban Salsa Band, dancing and other entertainment as well as a silent auction. The event raised over $175,000. 

Rollins also developed JRoll's Aces in 2007 to reward children in disadvantaged areas excelling in the classroom.  Jimmy meets with groups on field during batting practice, answers questions and signs autographs. He also provides each participant with a game ticket, T-shirt and food voucher.

In addition to his other efforts, Rollins has honored top readers since 2002 with the JRoll's Readers program for their dedication to literacy during the summer months. He also annually helps the Phillies salute Jackie Robinson's legacy as well as honors the surviving members of the Philadelphia Stars Negro League team.

Rollins will be recognized prior to the Phillies vs. Braves game on Sunday, September 23 on field at Citizens Bank Park.  In addition to being honored as the club’s nominee, he will also receive the Phillies Community Service Award.

“Jimmy Rollins has been helping less fortunate members of our community since his very first day at the Phillies.  A particular focus has been Jimmy’s efforts to help children, which he and Johari have taken to an even higher level since their marriage in 2010,” said Phillies President, David Montgomery.  “His dedication to giving back to the community is evident in all of the good work he has done through the Jimmy Rollins Family Foundation.”

“It is a real honor to be the 2012 Phillies’ Roberto Clemente Award nominee,” said Rollins. “Just to be considered for this award means so much to me when I think about the man named for it and all he stood for.  I hope that the efforts of my Foundation will help continue the tradition of ballplayers giving back to the community for many years to come.”

The distinguished list of past national Roberto Clemente Award recipients includes 14 members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame:

1971

Willie Mays+

1982

Ken Singleton

1993

Barry Larkin+

2004

Edgar Martinez

1972

Brooks Robinson+

1983

Cecil Cooper 

1994

Dave Winfield+

2005

John Smoltz

1973

Al Kaline+

1984

Ron Guidry

1995

Ozzie Smith+

2006

Carlos Delgado

1974

Willie Stargell+

1985

Don Baylor

1996

Kirby Puckett+

2007

Craig Biggio

1975

Lou Brock+

1986

Garry Maddox

1997

Eric Davis

2008

Albert Pujols

1976

Pete Rose

1987

Rick Sutcliffe

1998

Sammy Sosa

2009

Derek Jeter

1977

Rod Carew+

1988

Dale Murphy

1999

Tony Gwynn+

2010

Tim Wakefield

1978

Greg Luzinski

1989

Gary Carter+

2000

Al Leiter

2011

David Ortiz

1979

Andre Thornton

1990

Dave Stewart

2001

Curt Schilling

   

1980

Phil Niekro+

1991

Harold Reynolds

2002

Jim Thome

   

1981

Steve Garvey

1992

Cal Ripken, Jr.+

2003

Jamie Moyer

   

+ Member of the Baseball Hall of Fame

Fans are encouraged to participate in the process of selecting the national award recipient by visiting MLB.com/ClementeAward to vote for one of the 30 Club nominees. Participating fans will be automatically registered for a chance to win a trip to the 2012 World Series, where the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet will be announced. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 14th, and the winner of the fan poll will receive one vote among those cast by a selection panel.

All Clubs will recognize their local nominees as part of Roberto Clemente Day ceremonies. As part of the league-wide celebration, the Roberto Clemente Day logo will appear on the bases and the official dugout lineup cards during each club’s home game recognition.