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Tim Wakefield named recipient of the 2010 Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet10/28/2010 7:29 PM ET
Tim Wakefield of the Boston Red Sox has been named the 2010 recipient of the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet today at a press conference prior to Game Two of the World Series at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Bestowed annually to the Major League Baseball player who combines a dedication to giving back to the community with outstanding skills on the baseball field, the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet recognizes players who best represent the game of baseball through sportsmanship, community involvement and positive contributions to their Clubs. The Award is named for the 12-time 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 Award pays tribute to Clemente's achievements and character by recognizing talented current players who truly understand the value of helping others. "Major League Baseball congratulates Tim Wakefield for being named the recipient of the 2010 Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. "While Tim has put together a wonderful career on the field, his efforts off the field have had a lasting impact on the lives of young people, particularly in New England and Melbourne, Florida. We are proud to honor him with this prestigious Award." Since 2004, Wakefield has been actively involved with "Pitching in for Kids," a non-profit organization dedicated to providing grants to improve the lives of children across the New England region. It encourages children to participate in special events to learn important life skills and the spirit of initiative and giving within the community. He has co-hosted a number of fundraising events for the organization, which have helped raise close to $1 million. Additionally, he supports the Space Coast Early Intervention Center (SCEIC) in his hometown of Melbourne, Florida. The Center is a unique non-profit therapeutic pre-school program for children with special needs. He adopted the SCEIC in 1992 when it was struggling financially and faced closure. Since then, he has helped raise nearly $10 million for the Center through his annual Tim Wakefield Celebrity Golf Classic and Memorabilia Auction. In 1998, Wakefield created the "Wakefield Warriors" program, which enables patients from the Franciscan Hospital for Children and the Jimmy Fund in Boston to visit with him and watch batting practice before all Tuesday home games at Fenway Park. Each year, Wakefield participates in the Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon, which last year raised $4.5 million. "This is a very special day for me and I am extremely honored to be named the recipient of the Roberto Clemente Award," said Wakefield. "Roberto's legacy truly epitomizes how an athlete should act, not only on the field, but off as well. That's what I've tried to emulate throughout my career. I feel very lucky to be living out my dream I had as a kid and I feel a responsibility to give back. I'd like to thank the Red Sox for their continued support in my off the field endeavors and the Pitching In For Kids Foundation for their help making a difference in the lives of children all over the New England area and beyond. I'd also like to thank MLB, Chevrolet and especially the Clemente family for this great honor that I humbly accept." Wakefield was selected from a list of 30 nominees, one from each Major League Club, by a panel of dignitaries that included Commissioner Selig and Vera Clemente, MLB Goodwill Ambassador and wife of the late Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente. Additionally, fans were able to log on to www.Chevy.com/clemente, which was powered by MLB.com and created specifically for the Roberto Clemente Award platform, and cast a vote for one of the 30 nominees. The winner of the fan vote was tallied as one vote among those cast by the selection panel. "I congratulate Tim Wakefield and welcome him to the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet family," said Vera Clemente. "For many years I have learned of his contributions in improving the lives of children across the New England region and his hometown Melbourne, Florida. Roberto would be very proud to have Tim on his team of great humanitarians making a positive impact in the life of many youngsters." Wakefield joins a distinguished list of national Roberto Clemente Award recipients, which includes 13 members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Tim Wakefield has collected 193 wins over his 18-year career with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1992-93) and Boston Red Sox (1995-Present). Wakefield, who was selected to his first career All-Star Game in 2009, is the longest tenured member of the Red Sox. The knuckle-baller's consistency has helped him to become one of the best pitchers in Red Sox history, ranking third on the club's all-time wins list (179) behind Roger Clemens and Cy Young (192 each). On June 8, 2010, Wakefield, who now has 2,851.1 innings pitched in a Sox uniform, surpassed Clemens' total of 2,776.0 innings pitched for the most in franchise history. In addition, his 93 wins at Fenway Park ranks second all-time to Clemens (100). In his first season with the Red Sox in 1995, Wakefield went 16-8 with a 2.95 ERA and finished third in the American League Cy Young voting. In 2004, Tim was a part of the Red Sox team that won its first World Championship in 86 years, and in 2007, Wakefield won a career-best 17 games while helping Boston to its second World Championship in four years. The 44-year-old right-hander was selected by the Pirates in the eighth round of the 1988 First-Year Player Draft out of Florida Institute of Technology. Wakefield has pitched in 18 postseason games, including 11 starts, over eight postseasons throughout his career. For a full biography of Tim Wakefield's charitable endeavors, visit the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet page www.Chevy.com/clemente, powered by MLB.com, the official web site of Major League Baseball.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.