09/01/2009 2:00 PM ET
Nick Markakis Named Orioles Nominee for the 2009 Roberto Clemente Award Presented by Chevy
Fans Have Opportunity to Vote Online for the National Winner of Prestigious Award
Nick Markakis today was named the Orioles' nominee for the 2009 Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevy. He is one of 30 Major League Club nominees for the national 2009 Roberto Clemente Award, which is given annually to the Major League Baseball player who combines exceptional performance on the baseball field with devoted work in the community.
Tomorrow will mark the eighth annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball to honor the legacy of Roberto Clemente. Fans are encouraged to participate in the selection of the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevy. From September 2 through October 4, 2009, fans can log on to www.chevy.com/clemente and vote for one of the 30 Club nominees.
The Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevy, 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 award is named for Clemente, a 12-time All-Star and Hall of Famer who died on New Year's Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. This award perpetuates Clemente's legacy and character by recognizing current-day players who truly understand the value of helping others.
Nick and Christina Markakis started the non-profit Right Side Foundation (www.RightSideFoundation.org) earlier this year. The Right Side Foundation's mission is to help improve the lives of distressed children throughout the State of Maryland. The Foundation has already instituted a regular program called "Fun for 21" where Nick, who wears uniform number 21, and Christina treat 21 children from an established Maryland non-profit to a special day of activities. Youth from the Maryland Ronald McDonald House were treated to a day of games and lunch at the local ESPNZone restaurant and a VIP visit to the National Aquarium in the first "Fun for 21" event in June. A second "Fun for 21" event is slated to take place this month.
On August 16, the Right Side Foundation hosted its first fundraiser, a 5K Race and 1 Mile Family Fun Walk in Baltimore's Patterson Park. Nearly 600 runners participated in the event. Nick and Christina also regularly donate their suite at Camden Yards to a Maryland-based youth group. Since the Foundation was established the suite has been donated more than a dozen times, with plans for the program to continue in 2010.
Nick is also very supportive of the Orioles' charitable efforts. He has committed $75,000 per season to the Orioles Charitable Foundation to assist with its philanthropic giving. The Orioles partnered with Baltimore City Schools earlier this year for a Summer Learning Curriculum that included lessons inspired by baseball. Nick and Christina Markakis made an appearance at Mount Royal Elementary/Middle School in July to help demonstrate the curriculum, and a portion of Nick's $75,000 donation will be used to provide support for further partnerships between the Orioles and Baltimore City Schools.
Nick is also involved in several MLB outreach initiatives. He served as the team spokesperson for the MLB 'Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer' campaign. Nick, whose mother survived breast cancer, was part of a celebrity panel that took part in voting for 'Honorary Bat Girl' winners. He also participated in the pre-game ceremony honoring the team's "Honorary Bat Girl." The Orioles and Nick also joined with the Prostate Cancer Foundation to promote prostate cancer awareness. Nick was the Orioles' representative for this season's Home Run Challenge.
Nick will be presented with the Roberto Clemente Award in a ceremony prior to tomorrow night's 7:05 game against the New York Yankees.
The winner of the 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 Three of the 2009 World Series, where the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevy 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.