Teixeira Yanks’ nominee for Clemente Award
Mark Teixeira was named the Yankees’ 2012 nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Tuesday marked the 11th annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball to honor Clemente’s legacy and to recognize local club nominees of the Clemente Award.
Teixeira is one of the 30 club finalists for the annual award, which recognizes a major-league player who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.
The Clemente Award pays tribute to Clemente’s achievements and character by recognizing current players who understand the value of helping others. The award is named for the 15-time All-Star and Hall of Famer who died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
An avid philanthropist, Teixeira has been involved in charitable endeavors throughout his big-league career. In 2006, Mark and his wife, Leigh, established the Mark Teixeira Charitable Fund, an initiative that awarded several scholarships to students from multiple high schools in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Three years later, he served as a spokesman for the National Foundation for Cancer Research through the organization’s “Help Strike Out Sun Damage” program.
Tex has been a strong supporter of Harlem RBI, a nonprofit organization in East Harlem that provides more than 1,200 boys and girls, ages 5-22, with year-round academic, sports and enrichment programs. In 2011, he made a $1 million donation to Harlem RBI and has been calling on fans to help raise additional funds through his Dream Team 25 campaign.
The fundraising campaign is helping the organization build a 45-seat public charter school facility, a new community center, 87 units of low-income housing and a rebuilt public park in the Harlem community. All are designed to serve as a model for urban development.
In addition, Teixeira, who is co-chair of the organization’s $20-million Capital Campaign and chair of the organization’s Home Run Leadership Council, works with MLB to connect with RBI programs nationally through in-stadium appearance with fellow players and supports local RBI programs around the country.
Other Yankees players who have won the award were Ron Guidry in 1984, Don Baylor in 1985 and Derek Jeter in 2009. Also included among former winners were current YES broadcasters Ken Singleton with the Orioles in 1982 and Al Leiter with the Mets in 2000. Former Yankees players who won the award while with another team along with Leiter were Phil Niekro in 1980 with the Braves and Dave Winfield in 1994 with the Twins.
Yankees fans are encouraged to participate in the process of selecting the national award recipient by visiting MLB.com/ClementeAward to vote for Teixeira. Participating fans will be automatically registered for a chance to win a trip to the 2012 World Series, where the national winner of the Clemente Award will be announced. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14. The winner of the fan poll will receive one vote among those cast by a selection panel.