Via the MLB Public Relations Twitter account, retiring White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko and Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins have been named the co-winners of the Roberto Clemente Award. The Clemente Award goes to the player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship and community involvement. The nominees, one from each team, were announced back in September.
Konerko and Jim Thome founded the Bring Me Home Foundation eight years ago to raise awareness and support for foster children and families. Chicago White Sox Charities honored him earlier this year for his charitable work with a bobblehead. Per Chuck Garfien of CSN Chicago, Konerko is the first member of the White Sox to win the Roberto Clemente Award.
Rollins and his wife Johari created the The Johari & Jimmy Rollins Center for Animal Rehabilitation as well as The Rollins Family Foundation. Rollins also holds an annual BaseBOWL tournament to raise money for the Arthritis Foundation. As Kevin Cooney of Calkins Media tweets, Rollins is the third Phillie to win the Roberto Clemente award, joining Greg Luzinski (1978) and Garry Maddox (1986).
This is the first time more than one player has won the Roberto Clemente Award in the same year. Kudos to Konerko and Rollins, two of the game’s most upstanding players, for their well-deserved accolades.