Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen was named the winner of the 2015 Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet before Game 3 of the World Series at Citi Field on Friday.
The award is given annually to the player who “best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.” Each Major League team has one nominee, with the winner determined by a panel and fan voting.
McCutchen is only the second Pirates player ever to win the award, joining Willie Stargell who did so in 1974. McCutchen is known to be involved with several community and nonprofit organizations in Pittsburgh and in Bradenton, Fla., the Pirates’ Spring Training home.
Along with Pirates Charities, the start center fielder founded “Cutch’s Crew” in 2010 to mentor youth baseball players and at-risk children. First baseman Adrian Gonzalez was the Los Angeles Dodgers’ nominee this year, as he was in 2013.
Gonzalez and his wife Besty have provided all-inclusive tickets to games for families in the Los Angeles area, funded back-to-school shopping sprees and worked with the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital.
Last offseason Gonzalez participated in a telethon in Mexico to aid children with disabilities, cancer and autism. Clayton Kershaw (2012) and Steve Garvey (1981) are the lone Dodgers to win the Roberto Clemente Award.
Clemente spent his entire career with the Pirates, leading the organization to World Series wins in 1960 and 1971. He won the National League batting championship four times over his 18-year career, was named to the All-Star team 12 times, and was named MVP in 1966.
Clemente died in plane crash on New Year’s Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver relief supplies to the victims of an earthquake in Managua.