10/21/2003 9:41 PM ET
Moyer wins Clemente Award
The Roberto Clemente Award Ceremony
By Alyson Footer / MLB.com
Moyer on winning the award
MIAMI -- Seattle Mariners left-hander Jamie Moyer, father of five, spoke of setting great examples when he accepted the 2003 Roberto Clemente Award prior to Game 3 of the World Series on Tuesday night at Pro Player Stadium.
Judging from the contributions Moyer and his wife, Karen, have made to baseball and to the Seattle community, it's easy to see their children have two outstanding role models.
Moyer was honored with the Clemente Awared for his work with the Moyer Foundation, which he and his wife established in 2000. The foundation offers encouragement, comfort and support to children and families who are enduring a time of profound distress, be it physical, emotional or financial.
In three years, the foundation has raised nearly $3 million in support of 100 different organizations. This year, the Moyers teamed up with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to create the Gregory Fund, a new initiative that raised nearly $250,000 in funds and awareness for early detection in cancer research.
Commissioner Bud Selig, Wayne Budd from award sponsor John Hancock and Clemente's widow, Vera Clemente, presented the award to Moyer during a pregame ceremony on the field.
"I know that many of you [reporters] who cover me regularly during the year keep hearing me refer to baseball as a social institution," Selig said. "I believe that, and I believe that inherently comes [with] a lot of social responsibility. That's why this award is so remarkably meaningful."
The award has been in existence since 1971 but was named for Clemente in 1973 after the Pittburgh Pirates right fielder was killed in a plane crash on Dec. 31, 1972, on his way to assist earthquake victims in Nicaragua. The humanitarian effort is remembered each year during the World Series with the presentation of the Clemente Award, which brings the community side of baseball into the spotlight.
John Hancock presented Moyer with a $25,000 check to the Moyer Foundation and also will contribute $30,000 in Moyer's name to the Roberto Clemente Sports City, a multipurpose sports and education center in Puerto Rico.
Moyer, who was 21-7 for the Mariners and ranks second on their all-time win list, second in games started, second in career wins, second in innings pitched and fourth in strikeouts, was clearly moved by the honor. He became emotional as he thanked his wife for being a great "backbone" while stressing the importance of giving back to the community.
"Roberto Clemente may be the greatest humanitarian in the game of baseball," Moyer said. "A great player, he set many great examples when I was a young boy on the field. I was living across the state in Pennsylvania and realizing, hoping to realize, a dream come true.
"At that time, I was a little too young to understand or appreciate what he was doing. But as I've grown and matured in this great game of baseball, I feel like people like Roberto Clemente have set a great stepping stone and have allowed players and fans to come together and do some great things in communities."
He also stressed that donating time is equally as important as the financial side of charity.
"It's not always money," he said. "Money helps. Money is great. But you know what? Everybody has time and everybody has a talent. When you find that out in your life, it doesn't matter when you find it out. But when you find what those talents are and you find the time to help in the community, by doing these things, you can set great examples. I think that's what we strive to do in our community, the great community of Seattle."
Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.