Add a prestigious humanitarian award to Salvador Perez's 2021 collection of honors: Roberto Clemente Award nominee.
Perez, who is having his best season -- which says a lot given his collection of Gold Glove Awards, Silver Slugger Awards, All-Star Games, a world championship and a World Series MVP trophy -- was named Tuesday as the Kansas City Royals’ 2021 nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, which recognizes one player from each team who best represents baseball through character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field. No individual MLB award is considered more prominent.
An overall winner of the award among the club nominees will be selected via a blue-ribbon panel and a fan vote at mlb.com/clemente21.
“It’s a great honor to be nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award,” Perez said. “I always knew his name as one of the greatest players ever but have learned so much more about his work off the field and all the lives he touched. He’s someone that every player should want to be like.”
Many of Perez's philanthropic efforts have focused on the teaching community. For several years he has worked with Teach for America, hosted teachers at Royals games and donated toy bats and balls to Teach for America’s Back to School Bash, which provides school supplies to needy youth.
In addition, Perez has coached a clinic for kids in Bogota, Colombia; filmed surprise messages for Royals fans during pandemic lockdown; supported essential workers at local grocery stores during the pandemic; continued his support of Sarah Olsen, a local police officer battling ALS, as a member of “Sarah’s Soldiers," and partnered with Braden’s Hope for Childhood Cancer and supported local pediatric cancer patients.
Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball to honor Clemente’s legacy as a humanitarian, will be celebrated Wednesday.