The San Francisco Giants nominated their ace Matt Cain for the Roberto Clemente award, an honor bestowed upon a player who best represents the game of baseball by giving back to the community through positive contributions on and off the field.
“You try to do as much as you can on the field, and then off the field you’re really going to find different things to do, and that’s something that’s become more and more special to me,” Cain said. “It’s something I’ve taken more and more pride in, trying to find things that are close to my heart.”
Each team (30) picks one nominee who has shown great strides in sportsmanship, giving back and a favorable role model for young boys and girls. Other notable players nominated for the honor are Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, New York Mets starting pitcher Johan Santana and Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera.
The award recognizes Clemente, a 15-time All-Star and Hall of Famer, and his past achievements in helping others. Sadly, the MLB great died in a plane crash on Dec. 31, 1972 trying to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. This year, the league will celebrate the 30th anniversary of his passing on Wednesday, which is officially recognized as Roberto Clemente Day.
Cain has been a long-standing role model in his seven years in the league. He has given back to countless organizations, including his support role of the Make-A-Wish foundation this year. Cain’s passion in helping children with life threatening diseases. He has also contributed to other organizations such as Project Open Hand, Until There’s A Cure, No H8 Campaign and the Junior Giants Program, to name a few.
“I am humbled for being nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award,” Cain said. “It is truly an honor to be mentioned among the many great players who have won this award in the past, and those who were also nominated by their teams this season, for their dedication and service to the community. I am pround to represent the Giants as the club’s nominee. Thank you to my teammates and to the fans for all of their support.”
The 27-year-old Cain has been a fixture in the Giants organization and among one of the elite starting pitchers in the league. On Wednesday, he will strive for a career-high 15th win of the season when he takes on the Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park. He will also carry a red-hot 2.93 ERA into the game, which is highlighted by his recent dominance of allowing two or less runs in the past seven of nine starts. The veteran right-hander will look to extend his stranglehold against NL-West lineups and make a late push towards his first Cy Young award.