Dodgers Honor Roberto Clemente Award Nominee Justin Turner

By City News Service
City News Service
City News Service
September 16, 2021 Updated: September 16, 2021

LOS ANGELES—Third baseman Justin Turner received a trophy symbolizing being the Los Angeles Dodgers’s nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award before tonight’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium on Roberto Clemente Day.

Recently acquired pitcher Max Scherzer also received a trophy for being the Washington Nationals’ nominee for the award, which recognizes the major league player who best represents baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy, and positive contributions, both on and off the field.

Each team nominates a player for the award which is decided by a panel that includes Commissioner Rob Manfred, representatives from MLB-affiliated networks (MLB Network, Fox Sports, ESPN, and TBS), MLB.com, as well as Clemente’s children, Enrique, Luis, and Roberto Clemente Jr.

Fans can vote for the Roberto Clemente Award at mlb.com/clemente21, which includes biographies of the nominees. The winner of the fan vote will count as one vote among those cast by the blue-ribbon panel.

Epoch Times Photo
Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner makes a catch on a ball hit by Milwaukee Brewers’ Wily Peralta during the second inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014, in Los Angeles. (Mark J. Terrill/AP Photo)

This is the fourth time in five years Turner has been the Dodgers’s nominee for the award. He was also nominated in 2017, 2018, and 2020.

Turner founded a foundation in 2016 that bears his name. The Justin Turner Foundation supports homeless veterans, children (and their families) battling life-altering illnesses and diseases, and various youth baseball
organizations.

This is Major League Baseball’s 20th annual Roberto Clemente Day, honoring the Hall of Fame outfielder killed in a plane crash on Dec. 31, 1972, while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.

Major League Baseball announced Tuesday that Roberto Clemente Day will be celebrated on Sept. 15 in perpetuity.

In Wednesday’s game, Turner and Scherzer both wore Clemente’s number 21, as did Dodgers teammates Clayton Kershaw and Albert Pujols, the 2012 and 2008 Roberto Clemente Award recipients.

A special tribute video to Clemente was played in all major league stadiums in use Wednesday and the Roberto Clemente Day logo will appear on the bases and official dugout lineup cards.

Epoch Times Photo
Los Angeles Dodgers’ Justin Turner scores past Atlanta Braves catcher Travis d’Arnaud on a single by AJ Pollock during the eighth inning of a baseball game in Los Angeles on Sept. 1, 2021. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo)

The Brooklyn Dodgers signed Clemente in 1954 and he played that season for their Montreal International League affiliate where he was a teammate of future Dodgers manager and Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda.

Under the rules of the time, players who received at least a $6,000 signing bonus who were not on a major league roster were subject to what is now known as the Rule 5 major league draft, in which the Pittsburgh Pirates made Clemente the first selection.

Clemente played his entire 18-season major league career with the Pirates, collecting 3,000 hits and winning four National League batting championships. He was selected for the All-Star Game 15 times and was a 12-time Gold Glove recipient.

Clemente was a member of Pirates’s teams that won the World Series in 1960 and 1971 and was selected as the Most Valuable Player of the 1971 World Series, where he hit .414 with five extra-base hits in 29 at-bats in Pittsburgh’s seven-game victory over the Baltimore Orioles.

City News Service
City News Service