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Adrian Gonzalez nominee for 2013 Roberto Clemente Award Presented by Chevrolet

Major League Baseball and Chevrolet, the official vehicle of Major League Baseball, today announced that Adrian Gonzalez was named the Dodgers' 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. Gonzalez 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.

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After being acquired by the Dodgers during the 2012 season, Gonzalez immediately connected with the Los Angeles community. Gonzalez chose to support PADRES Contra El Cancer, an organization committed to improving the quality of life for Latino children with cancer and their families, and made a significant performance-based monetary contribution to PADRES at the end of the season and committed to helping the organization. He served as Honorary Co-chair for the PADRES Contra El Cancer "Stand for Hope Run/Walk" and lent full support recording a PSA, participating in a marketing campaign and through donation of tickets and a meet-and-greet experience. Gonzalez is planning hospital visits in the offseason and during the holiday season. He will also donate autographed items and tickets to PADRES' annual fundraising Gala.

This season, Gonzalez and his wife Betsy launched "Adrian Gonzalez's Viva Los Dodgers Days" on Mother's Day which provided all-inclusive All-You-Can-Eat tickets and parking for families in greater Los Angeles by partnering with various non-profit organizations that provide various services to the underprivileged and low-income communities. Gonzalez hosted 72 fans at each subsequent Viva Los Dodgers Day at Dodger Stadium, treating families to the game as well as the pre-game family festival that celebrates Latino culture in Los Angeles and the legacy of Latino Dodgers. Through Adrian Gonzalez's Viva los Dodgers, the Gonzalez family hosted more than 600 fans this season.

Gonzalez also supports education with The Adrian Gonzalez Scholarship program that began in San Diego, continued in Boston and will start in Los Angeles in 2014. The Adrian Gonzalez Scholarship program provides financial assistance to underprivileged students attending four-year colleges and universities. Scholarships are granted to students from low- to middle-income families with strong academic records who are involved in a balance of community, school and work activities with a focus on community service. Adrian is heavily involved with the interview and selection process. If he is not able to attend interviews in person he attends via Skype. There are currently 60 Adrian Gonzalez scholars in college and the graduation rate is over 90 percent.

Gonzalez's community involvement extends to Mexico as he financially supports two baseball fields in Tijuana, Mexico for youth, Campo Adrian Gonzalez en la Liga Municipal de Tijuana. Adrian attended rededication ceremonies for both fields in November 2012 drawing more than 4,000 people to the ceremonies. He also donated Dodger items to the youth baseball players.

In January 2013, Gonzalez along with several teammates made a special trip to Los Angeles to take part in the annual "Pitching in the Community" Caravan. The caravan is a full day of community service. In December 2012, he hosted the annual Dodgers Children's Holiday Party at which 300 local youth were invited to read with Santa, play games with current Dodgers and Dodger Alumni, eat lunch and receive Dodger goodie bags. Also in December 2012, the Gonzalez family purchased and donated $25,000 in toys that they helped to distribute to children in East Los Angeles at a children's holiday celebration. Gonzalez plans to do this annually. Gonzalez has supported charitable endeavors of his teammates and manager as well as attended the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation annual Bowling Extravaganza.

Gonzalez, a four-time All-Star, this season leads the Dodgers in hits (161), homers (20) and RBI (95). He reached the 90-RBI mark for the seventh consecutive season, joining only Miguel Cabrera as the only players to do so. Gonzalez also reached the 20-home run mark for the seventh time in the last eight years and ranks 10th in the Majors with 226 home runs since 2006. He is batting .331 (49-for-148) with runners in scoring position this season, the 11th-best mark in the NL.

"Giving back to the community has always been a cornerstone of the Dodgers organization," said Dodger President and CEO Stan Kasten. "On behalf of the Dodgers' organization, we commend Adrian and his wife, Betsy, for going above and beyond in assisting those in need."

"I'm truly honored to be nominated for this award that pays tribute to Roberto Clemente, one of the greatest in the game who also had an extraordinary impact off the field with his philanthropic efforts," said Gonzalez. "Everyone should strive to be the type of man Clemente was and I am humbled that I am the Dodgers' nominee for this prestigious award. It is very important to me and my wife to give back to the community and I look forward to doing so much more."

The Dodgers will recognize Gonzalez for his nomination prior to the game on September 28 (vs. COL, 6:10 p.m.).

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

1971, Willie Mays+**
1972, Brooks Robinson+**
1973, Al Kaline+
1974, Willie Stargell+
1975, Lou Brock+
1976, Pete Rose
1977, Rod Carew+
1978, Greg Luzinski
1979, Andre Thornton
1980, Phil Niekro+
1981, Steve Garvey
1982, Ken Singleton    
1983, Cecil Cooper
1984, Ron Guidry
1985, Don Baylor
1986, Garry Maddox
1987, Rick Sutcliffe
1988, Dale Murphy
1989, Gary Carter+
1990, Dave Stewart
1991, Harold Reynolds
1992, Cal Ripken, Jr.+
1993, Barry Larkin+
1994, Dave Winfield+
1995, Ozzie Smith+
1996, Kirby Puckett+
1997, Eric Davis
1998, Sammy Sosa
1999, Tony Gwynn+
2000, Al Leiter
2001, Curt Schilling
2002, Jim Thome
2003, Jamie Moyer
2004, Edgar Martinez
2005, John Smoltz
2006, Carlos Delgado
2007, Craig Biggio
2008, Albert Pujols
2009, Derek Jeter
2010, Tim Wakefield
2011, David Ortiz
2012, Clayton Kershaw
    
+ 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 award recipient by visiting ChevyBaseball.com to vote for one of the 30 Club nominees. Voting ends Sunday, Oct. 6, 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 Sept. 17 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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