Major League Baseball and Chevrolet, the official vehicle of MLB, today announced that Nick Swisher was named the Cleveland Indians 2014 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Swisher 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.
Each Club nominates one player to be considered for the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet in an effort to pay tribute to Clemente's achievements and character by recognizing current players who truly understand the value of helping others. Tomorrow marks the 13th 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 and to honor Clemente's legacy. The 15-time MLB All-Star and Hall of Famer died in a plane crash on New Year's Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
Nick and his wife, JoAnna Garcia Swisher, created the Swisher Family Foundation with a mission of providing children in need with medical care, education, and recreational activities. During the 2014 season, the Swishers staged the first Mission Swisher scavenger hunt at Progressive Field to raise money for the Foundation. The couple also engaged children and families in the community with a free advanced screening of Disney's "Million Dollar Arm" at Tower City Cinemas for the Cleveland Boys and Girls Club, and also is currently aligning with MetroHealth System and its Pediatric Wellness Center, which helps children in need with vital medical care, education and recreational activities.
The Swishers have been actively involved with crisis nursery Providence House, the Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland and the FBI Citizen Academy's Child Identification Kit Program, donating $250,000 combined to the three causes.
Along with these local non-profits, Swisher has donated the use of his family suite at Progressive Field to an additional eight local charities including Providence House, the Boys and Girls Club of Cleveland, the Ronald McDonald House Cleveland, Shoes and Clothes for Kids, The Centers for Families and Children, Recovery Resources, Guidestone and the USO of Northern Ohio throughout the past two seasons.
"Nick and his wife, JoAnna, continue to deepen their commitment to youth and families in Cleveland," said Rebecca Kodysh, the Indians Executive Director of Community Impact. "The Swishers have demonstrated a passion for long-term community impact that embodies the ideals of Roberto Clemente."
The distinguished list of past national Roberto Clemente Award recipients includes 14 members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame:
+ Member of the Baseball Hall of Fame ** Originally known as the Commissioner's Award (prior to '73)
Beginning Wednesday, fans are encouraged to participate in the process of selecting the national Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet recipient by visiting ChevyBaseball.com, which is powered by MLB Advanced Media, to vote for one of the 30 Club nominees. Voting ends on Sunday, October 6th and participating fans will be automatically registered for a chance to win a trip to the 2014 World Series, where the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet will be announced.
The winner of the fan vote will receive one vote among those cast by the selection panel. The winner of the fan vote will receive one vote among those cast by the selection panel of dignitaries, which includes Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig; MLB Chief Operating Officer Rob Manfred; MLB Goodwill Ambassador and wife of Roberto Clemente, Vera Clemente; and representatives from Chevrolet, MLB Network, MLB.com, ESPN, FOX Sports and TBS, among others.