09/02/2008 1:26 PM ET
Magglio Ordoñez named Detroit Tigers' recipient of the 2008 Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevy
Magglio Ordoñez today was named the Detroit Tigers' recipient of the 2008 Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevy. He is one of 30 Major League Club nominees for the national 2008 Roberto Clemente Award, which is given annually to the Major League Baseball player who combines outstanding skills on the baseball field with devoted work in the community. Tomorrow will mark the seventh annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball in 2002 to honor the legacy of Roberto Clemente.
The Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevy, is part of Chevy's official sponsorship of Major League Baseball, and recognizes those players who best represent the game of baseball through sportsmanship, community involvement and positive contributions to their teams. The award is named for Clemente, a 12-time All-Star and Hall of Famer who died on New Year's Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. This award perpetuates Clemente's legacy and character by recognizing current-day players who truly understand the value of helping others.
Fans are encouraged to participate in the selection of the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevy. From Sept. 3rd through Oct. 5th, 2008, fans can log on to www.chevy.com/clemente and vote for one of the 30 Club nominees.
Since joining the organization in 2005, Ordoñez established his presence in Detroit with not only his on-field achievements, but also with a variety of contributions to the Detroit community. Before ever taking the field with the Tigers, Ordoñez agreed to donate $100,000 annually for his entire contract period, and under his direction, the donation is utilized in support of education and youth baseball programs and initiatives throughout the community.
Many of his other contributions have been geared toward Southwest Detroit, a historically predominant Hispanic community.
In conjunction with the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan, Ordoñez established the Ordoñez Family Scholarship. The $2,500 annual college scholarship benefits a graduating high school senior from Southwest Detroit, and is renewable for up to four years.
Recently, Ordoñez and his wife raised over $10,000 for baseball and softball field renovations in the greater Detroit community, serving customers as celebrity baristas at a local Starbucks store. Additionally, he has committed to funding the 2009 renovation of three-to-four baseball fields with Think Detroit PAL at a recreation center in Southwest Detroit.
Ordoñez, who has been recognized by the Southwest Detroit Business Association for his commitment to the local Hispanic community, also supports many Detroit Tigers community initiatives and programs. During ¡Fiesta Tigres!, an annual tribute to celebrate the contributions of Hispanic players to the game of baseball, he purchased tickets and donated them to Hispanic American families that may not otherwise be able to afford a day at the ballpark.
Additionally, he is an active participant of the Tigers Dreams Come True program, giving his time to meet with fans that visit Comerica Park who currently have or are facing life-threatening medical conditions.
"I am honored to be nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award," Ordoñez said. "My family and I believe that it is very important to support the local community and we hope these programs help people across the area."
Ordoñez will be recognized by the Tigers on Wednesday, Sept. 3 during an on-field, pregame ceremony.
The fan vote winner will be tallied as one vote among those cast by the selection panel, which includes Vera Clemente, wife of the late Hall of Famer, and Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. Participating fans automatically will be registered for a chance to win a trip to Game Three of the 2008 World Series, where the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevy will be announced.
As the official sponsor of the Roberto Clemente Award, Chevy will donate $7,500 to the charity of choice of each of the 30 Club recipients. Chevy also will donate $30,000 and a Chevy vehicle to the national winner's charity of choice and an additional $30,000 will be donated by Chevy to Roberto Clemente Sports City, a not-for-profit organization in Carolina, Puerto Rico, designed to provide recreational sports activities for children.