Associated Press

Roberto Clemente Award Nominees announced

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The Roberto Clemente Award goes to the Major Leaguer who “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team.” Curtis Granderson won the award last year. This year’s nominees were just announced:

Arizona Diamondbacks – Paul Goldschmidt
Atlanta Braves – Jason Motte
Baltimore Orioles – Chris Davis
Boston Red Sox – Rick Porcello
Chicago Cubs – Anthony Rizzo
Chicago White Sox – José Abreu
Cincinnati Reds – Scooter Gennett
Cleveland Indians – Carlos Carrasco
Colorado Rockies – Ian Desmond
Detroit Tigers – Miguel Cabrera
Houston Astros – Jose Altuve
Kansas City Royals – Drew Butera
Los Angeles Angels – Cameron Maybin
Los Angeles Dodgers – Justin Turner
Miami Marlins – Dee Gordon
Milwaukee Brewers – Matt Garza
Minnesota Twins – Joe Mauer
New York Mets – T.J. Rivera
New York Yankees – Brett Gardner
Oakland Athletics – Liam Hendriks
Philadelphia Phillies – Cameron Rupp
Pittsburgh Pirates – Josh Harrison
St. Louis Cardinals – Adam Wainwright
San Diego Padres – Hunter Renfroe
San Francisco Giants – Buster Posey
Seattle Mariners – Robinson Canó
Tampa Bay Rays – Evan Longoria
Texas Rangers – Cole Hamels
Toronto Blue Jays – Marcus Stroman
Washington Nationals – Ryan Zimmerman

Maybin remains the Angels’ nominee despite joining the Houston Astros at the end of August.

The league-wide winner of the Roberto Clemente Award, who will be announced during the 2017 World Series, will be selected among the group of nominees via a blue ribbon panel that includes individuals connected to the game. The blue ribbon panel includes Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr., representatives from MLB-affiliated networks (MLB Network, FOX Sports, ESPN and TBS) and MLB Advanced Media, and Vera Clemente (the late Roberto’s wife). There is also a fan voting component to this, with the winner of the fan vote, which begins in October, getting one “blue ribbon panel” vote.

Larry Walker to wear a Rockies cap on his Hall of Fame plaque

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I guess this came out the day he was elected but I missed it somehow: Larry Walker is going to have a Rockies cap on his Fall of Fame plaque.

While it was once solely the choice of the inductee, for the past couple of decades the Hall of Fame has had final say on the caps, though the request of the inductee is noted. This is done to prevent a situation in which a cap truly misrepresents history. This issue arose around the time Wade Boggs was inducted, as he reportedly had a deal with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to pick their cap on his plaque which, to say the least, would’ve been unrepresentative.

There have been some mildly controversial picks in the past, and some guys who would seem to have a clear choice have gone with blank caps to avoid upsetting the fan base of one of his other teams, but Walker’s doesn’t seem all that controversial to me.

Walker played ten years in Colorado to six years in Montreal and two years in St. Louis. His numbers in Colorado were substantial better than in Montreal. His MVP Award, most of his Gold Gloves, most of his All-Star appearances, and all of his black ink with the exception of the NL doubles title in 1994 came with the Rockies too. Walker requested the Rockies cap, noting correctly that he “did more damage” in a Rockies uniform than anyplace else. And, of course, that damage is what got him elected to the Hall of Fame.

Still, I imagine fans of the old Expos will take at least some issue here. Those folks tend to be pretty possessive of their team’s old stars. It’s understandable, I suppose, given that they’ve not gotten any new ones in a decade or two. Add in the fact that Walker played for the 1994 Expos team onto which people love to project things both reasonable and unreasonable, and you can expect that the Expos dead-enders might feel a bit slighted.

Welp, sorry. A Rockies cap is the right choice.  And that’s Walker’s cap will feature.