Suppan among Clemente nominees
Right-hander represents Brewers with extensive charity work
MILWAUKEE -- Right-hander Jeff Suppan is the Brewers' nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, and that came as no surprise to Leonard Peace.
Peace is the team's senior director of community relations, and along with Brewers Charities president Lynn Sprangers he has worked closely this season with Suppan in coordinating his charitable efforts. The Clemente Award recognizes players for their impact in communities.
"A lot of players have great resources, but this is somebody who truly wants to connect to the people he wants to serve," Peace said. "You can see the passion in him and the want to do good."
Suppan has been doing good since he signed a club-record free agent contract with Milwaukee on Christmas Eve 2006, committing $100,000 per season to Brewers Charities. That's in addition to his other works, including a budding relationship with Stillpoint Resources, which counsels families and children, and a partnership with the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. Suppan donates $50 for ever strikeout to the Fund, which supports families of military personnel lost in service to our nation.
He takes his community work just as seriously as his mound work.
"I feel like it's everybody's responsibility," Suppan said. "I was that way from the time I was younger. But now I suppose it is different. When more has been given to you, more is expected."
Said Peace: "He wants to know all the aspects of what is going on. He does not just write a check and walk away, and it's nice to see that."
The Roberto Clemente Award recognizes the player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual's contribution to his team. It is named in honor of the former Pirates outfielder whose spirit and goodwill will always be remembered. Clemente died in a plane crash while attempting to transport relief supplies to earthquake-stricken Nicaragua on Dec. 31, 1972. The winner will be announced during the World Series.
"Any time you are up for an award as important as the Clemente Award, it's a big honor," Suppan said.
Just for being nominated, Suppan earned $7,500 for the charity of his choice. Peace said the funds will go to two local baseball leagues in Milwaukee's inner-city that serve 700 families.
"He has boosted our relationship with those organizations to a new level," Peace said.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.