09/01/2009 12:39 PM ET
Miguel Batista is Seattle Mariners nominee for 2009 Roberto Clemente Award
Baseball's highest community service honor to be announced at World Series
Miguel Batista was today named the Seattle Mariners recipient of the 2009 Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevy. Batista is one of 30 Major League players nominated for the national Roberto Clemente Award, which will be presented prior to Game 3 of the 2009 World Series.
Batista will be presented as the Mariners nominee during a pre-game ceremony on Wednesday, September 2, when the Mariners take on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Batista has designated Fundacion Samaritana, an international relief organization, as the recipient of a $7,500 donation from Chevy.
During his 12-year Major League career, Batista has been active in the communities where he has played and traveled extensively throughout Latin America, including his native Dominican Republic, to deliver baseball equipment, medical supplies and speak to kids of all ages about the importance of education. Prior to Spring Training this year, Batista delivered donated sports equipment and medical supplies to hospitals in the Dominican. In 2008, he traveled to Colombia to deliver gifts and meet with children in communities in four regions. During the 2007 off-season, Batista partnered with Medicines for Humanity and Fundacion Samaritana to deliver more than $40,000 worth of medical supplies to survivors of Tropical Storms Olga and Noel in the Dominican Republic, and he traveled to Ecuador to help remodel the Duran baseball field to provide children there with the opportunity to play baseball.
In Seattle, Batista has been active with Page Ahead Children's Literacy Program. He appeared in a public service announcement to promote Mariners Care book drives at Safeco Field. The 2007 book drives resulted in donations valued at $36,750 for the program.
Continuing with the literacy theme, Batista, who is a published novelist and poet, worked with the Washington State Library to promote the "Washington Reads" campaign. Batista was featured on posters that were displayed in schools, libraries, Washington State Parks, ferries and driver's licensing offices.
Batista has also been active with the Major League Baseball Players Trust, the charitable foundation for the Major League Baseball Players Association. The programs he has participated in include Buses for Baseball, Action Teams and Medicines for Humanity. Through the Buses for Baseballs program, Batista meets with underprivileged youth and treats them to Major League games. He has also worked with Volunteers of America and the Actions Teams to encourage local high school students to volunteer in their communities and to help recruit and train a new generation of volunteers.
In 2003, Batista was named The Sporting News No. 1 Good Guy in Major League Baseball for his contributions off the field.
Fans are encouraged to participate in the selection of the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award. From September 2-October 4, fans can log on to www.chevy.com/clemente and vote for one of the 30 Club nominees.
The Roberto Clemente Award 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 winner of the online fan poll will receive one vote among those cast by the official 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 3 of the 2009 World Series, where the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award will be announced. MLB celebrates Roberto Clemente Day as part of its broader "MLB Going Beyond" platform, an initiative that strives to integrate community service and the importance of giving back.
For the national winner, Chevy will donate $30,000 and a Chevy vehicle to the player's charity of choice and make an additional $30,000 contribution on his behalf to the Roberto Clemente Sports City in Puerto Rico.
Three Mariners players have received the national Clemente Award-Harold Reynolds in 1991, Jamie Moyer in 2003 and Edgar Martinez in 2004.