10/27/12 9:09 PM ET
MLB to highlight community service during Game 4
Activities include Habitat for Humanity donation, Clemente Award
By Mark Newman / MLB.com
Dignitaries from MLB, the Tigers, Habitat for Humanity and the Detroit community will visit the Morningside Commons neighborhood at 10 a.m. ET. MLB will make a donation to the Leaders to Rebuild Detroit Initiative, which is led by Habitat for Humanity Detroit to bring together local philanthropists and philanthropically minded corporations, associations and organizations.
The goal is to transform Morningside Commons, which was hit especially hard by the recent economic and housing crises, and work jointly with the public to help those in need. Habitat for Humanity is a longtime partner of MLB, and that was especially visible during All-Star Week in Kansas City, where MLB, the Players Trust and league partners teamed up with Habitat to frame two of the nine homes that went to tornado-ravaged communities in Joplin, Mo., and Tuscaloosa, Ala.
"The World Series provides our charitable partners with a platform to shed light on social issues that are critically important to Major League Baseball and our fans," Commissioner Allan H. "Bud" Selig said. "As a social institution with important social responsibilities, Major League Baseball is proud to continue using the attraction of the Fall Classic to make a positive impact in people's lives."
MLB is dedicating each of the first four games of this World Series to a different community initiative, using its greatest stage to raise awareness and involvement in important causes. Game 1 focused on the fight against cancer and specifically Stand Up To Cancer, Game 2 on military veterans and their families with Welcome Back Veterans and Game 3 on youth, especially those in underserved communities, highlighting MLB's partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) and Breaking Barriers programs.
Sept. 18 was Roberto Clemente Day throughout the Majors, and fan voting began that day and continued through Oct. 14 to determine this year's Clemente Award winner. One player from each club was nominated for the overall honor, which goes to the player who best exemplifies community service and the spirit of giving exhibited by its namesake, the Hall of Famer who died on New Year's Eve 1972 in a plane crash while delivering relief supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
Last year's Clemente Award winner was Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, who said in accepting the honor at Busch Stadium: "It's humbling to be associated with all the tremendous names that have won this award in the past, and I look forward to continuing to do my part to maintain Roberto Clemente's legacy."
Willie Mays won the first of these awards in 1971, when it was created to recognize community service around the game. He is one of 14 future Hall of Famers on the distinguished list of recipients. That list also includes Barry Larkin, a 1993 Clemente Award winner who was inducted into the Hall this summer.
The Game 4 first pitch will be thrown by Tigers legend Magglio Ordoñez. A member of the club's 2006 American League championship team, Ordoñez was a popular figure around the cage throughout Detroit's Game 3 batting practice.
"I'm very proud to throw that first pitch," said Ordoñez, a six-time All-Star who retired after the 2011 season with a career .309 batting average in 15 years. "It's weird, you know, it's the first time I've done this in my career and I'm going to enjoy that moment."
A singer, an actress and a judge on FOX's "THE X FACTOR," Demi Lovato will perform the national anthem. Lovato has released three studio albums and has been featured in four movies and numerous television series. Her latest album, "Unbroken," has spawned two platinum singles: "Skyscraper," which received an MTV Video Music Award for "Best Video with a Message," and her No. 1 smash hit, "Give Your Heart a Break."