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Utley named Phillies' nominee for 2013 Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet

Major League Baseball and Chevrolet, the official vehicle of Major League Baseball, today announced that Chase Utley was named the Phillies' 2013 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Tomorrow marks the 12th annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball to honor Clemente's legacy and to officially recognize local Club nominees of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Utley is one of the 30 Club finalists for the annual award, which recognizes a Major League Baseball player who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.

 

The Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet pays tribute to Clemente's achievements and character by recognizing current players who truly understand the value of helping others. The 15-time MLB 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. 

 

For nearly a decade Chase Utley has been a force on the field and an active member of the community, primarily focusing on the fight against animal cruelty. In 2008 Utley and his wife, Jen, held their inaugural Utley All-Star Animals Night to raise funds for the Pennsylvania SPCA. Since then they have raised nearly $2 million, including nearly $400,000 at this year's event. In 2011, they founded The Utley Foundation to bring awareness to the increasing epidemic of animal cruelty and to educate the public, and in particular children, about the proper treatment of animals. That year they began their "Kindness to Animals," inspired by children's personal animal stories, mural series and will soon unveil the third mural.

 

Utley's caring extends to children in need. Since 2007 Utley has annually spent $20,000 to purchase season tickets that he donates to the children and families at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. He is the Chairman of the Phillies Jr. RBI and RBI League programs, supporting players during meet and greets and encouraging fans to donate gloves to benefit the players. Utley also supports Phillies initiatives including the Phillies Phestival for ALS and the Phantastic Auction to benefit Phillies Charities, Inc.

 

Utley will be recognized prior to the Phillies vs. Marlins game on Wednesday, September 18 on-field at Citizens Bank Park. In addition to being honored as the club's nominee, he will receive the Phillies Major League Community Service Award.

 

"Chase Utley epitomizes a professional athlete," said Phillies President, David Montgomery. "He is a true asset to the Phillies organization as a role model in our clubhouse and an active participant in the community. He and his wife Jen are committed to many causes, but are particularly passionate about stopping animal cruelty through The Utley Foundation. Chase deserves to join the distinguished list of past award recipients."

 

"I am honored to be the 2013 Phillies' Roberto Clemente Award nominee," said Utley. "When I think about the man named for this award and all he stood for I am humbled to even be considered. I hope that the work done through The Utley Foundation can continue the tradition of ballplayers giving back to the community for many years to come."

 

The distinguished list of past national Roberto Clemente Award recipients includes 14 members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame:

 

1971

Willie Mays+**

1982

Ken Singleton

1993

Barry Larkin+

2004

Edgar Martinez

1972

Brooks Robinson+**

1983

Cecil Cooper 

1994

Dave Winfield+

2005

John Smoltz

1973

Al Kaline+

1984

Ron Guidry

1995

Ozzie Smith+

2006

Carlos Delgado

1974

Willie Stargell+

1985

Don Baylor

1996

Kirby Puckett+

2007

Craig Biggio

1975

Lou Brock+

1986

Garry Maddox

1997

Eric Davis

2008

Albert Pujols

1976

Pete Rose

1987

Rick Sutcliffe

1998

Sammy Sosa

2009

Derek Jeter

1977

Rod Carew+

1988

Dale Murphy

1999

Tony Gwynn+

2010

Tim Wakefield

1978

Greg Luzinski

1989

Gary Carter+

2000

Al Leiter

2011

David Ortiz

1979

Andre Thornton

1990

Dave Stewart

2001

Curt Schilling

2012

Clayton Kershaw

1980

Phil Niekro+

1991

Harold Reynolds

2002

Jim Thome

   

1981

Steve Garvey

1992

Cal Ripken, Jr.+

2003

Jamie Moyer

   

 

+ Member of the Baseball Hall of Fame

** Originally known as the Commissioner's Award (prior to 1973)

 

Beginning tomorrow on Roberto Clemente Day, fans are encouraged to participate in the process of selecting the national Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet recipient by visiting ChevyBaseball.com, which is powered by MLB Advanced Media, to vote for one of the 30 Club nominees. Voting ends on Sunday, October 6th and participating fans will be automatically registered for a chance to win a trip to the 2013 World Series, where the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet will be announced. The winner of the fan vote will receive one vote among those cast by the selection panel.

 

Clubs playing at home on September 17th will recognize their local nominees as part of Roberto Clemente Day ceremonies, while visiting Clubs will honor their nominees before another September home game. As part of the league-wide celebration, the Roberto Clemente Day logo will appear on the bases and the official dugout lineup cards. 

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