Longtime St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright was named the recipient of the 2020 Roberto Clemente Award. Commissioner Rob Manfred made the announcement on MLB Network in the award’s first-ever live presentation.
Each club had a nominee, with Justin Turner representing the Los Angeles Dodgers a third time in the past four years.
The Roberto Clemente Award is the annual recognition of a Major League player who best represents the game through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.
The winner was selected by a blue ribbon panel that included MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, representatives from MLB Network, FOX Sports, ESPN and TBS, MLB.com, as well as Roberto’s children, Enrique, Luis and Roberto Clemente, Jr. Fan voting also counted as one vote among those cast by the panel.
Wainwright’s foundation, Big League Impact, helps provide water, food and other aid to Haiti, Honduras and countries in Africa. Wainwright additionally provided meals to families in St. Louis and throughout the United States.
Although Turner has unfortunately yet to win the Roberto Clemente Award, his impact has been felt in the community. The Justin Turner Foundation was founded in 2016, and through it, Turner and his wife Kourtney have carried out a slew of initiatives.
And though Turner was up for the Roberto Clemente Award, he shifted credit to his wife, who is vice president of the Justin Turner Foundation. “First and foremost, Kourtney should be sitting up here next to me,” Turner said when discussing the nomination in September.
“She deserves as much of the credit and recognition for this award as I get,” Turner began his press conference to discuss the nomination. She’s been unbelievable for our foundation, keeping everything organized, moving forward, responding and setting things up. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her.
“I would have no chance of doing this if it wasn’t for her. She is incredibly organized, she spends hours and hours on her computer every day, going through emails, answering emails, setting up food deliveries, reaching out to different companies for sponsors.
“We don’t have a whole lot of help. She takes the reins on pretty much everything because she’s a believer if you want things done the way you want them done, you just do it yourself. Almost to a fault she takes on so much. Sometimes it’s tough on her, but she always comes up in the clutch and gets it done. There would be no Justin Turner Foundation if it wasn’t for her.”
Kiké Hernandez, Edwin Rios advocate to retire No. 21
This past season MLB permitted players to wear No. 21 in recognition of Roberto Clemente Day, which Kiké Hernandez and Edwin Rios were honored to do. However, both agreed it should be retired league-wide — much like Jackie Robinson’s iconic No. 42.
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