One day after pronouncing that J.P. Arencibia’s season had hit a new low, the Toronto Blue Jays catcher received a bit of a pick-me-up on Monday.
Since 1971, Major League Baseball annually presents the Roberto Clemente Award to a individual player that “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team”. There are 30 candidates chosen for the award, one representing each of the 30 Major League Baseball teams. J.P. Arencibia is the 2013 nominee from the Toronto Blue Jays, as reported by Gregor Chisholm.
The 27-year-old Blue Jays catcher has made quite the name for himself as a charitable individual, regularly making appearances at hospitals and schools, while also taking part in nearly all of the community building activities under the Jays Care Foundation. Arencibia, as a public figure and professional athlete, views his place in the game as a way to help better the lives around him and give back to the community as a whole.
“I’m fortunate to do what I do for a living, and I’m fortunate to play for a city, a province and a country. So to be able to go out there and give back to the people that give me the opportunity to do my job is important.”
As of this writing, no Blue Jays player has ever taken home the award, given in honor of late Pirates great Roberto Clemente and his own charitable work. However, the team as a whole was presented with the Commissioner’s Award for Philanthropy following the 2012 season. Arencibia’s work is part of a broader mission by the Blue Jays to play an active role in the community throughout Canada.
Voting will begin for the award on Tuesday September 17th, Roberto Clemente Day in Major League Baseball. Fans can go to ChevyBaseball.com to vote through October 6th.