Major League Baseball and Chevrolet, the official vehicle of Major League Baseball, today announced that Jon Lester was named the Red Sox 2012 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Today marks the eleventh 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. Lester 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 Award is named for 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 Managua, Nicaragua.
Lester has long been committed to helping children in need of cancer treatment and care through hospital visits, fundraisers, and a newly formed initiative called NVRQT, short for "never quit," launched with the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation (PCRF). NVRQT was launched this year upon reaching his five-year, cancer-free benchmark. The program's rally cry, "never quit," is the voice to support kids in their battle against pediatric cancer and the researchers working to find a cure.
As part of his efforts with NVRQT, Lester has provided tickets for and met with patients from Seattle Children's Hospital at Safeco Field in June, hosted NVRQT Day at Fenway Park in July, invited patients from Boston Children's Hospital and the Jimmy Fund to participate in a pre-game ceremony at Fenway Park, and recorded a PSA for NVRQT.
Additionally, Lester hosted a NVRQT baseball clinic for cancer patients and their siblings,
and on Monday, September 24, he and his wife Farrah will host NVRQT Night at the House of Blues in Boston to raise money for the program.
Besides his work with NVRQT, Lester during the season visited the Holland Elementary School in Dorchester to read to students, and met with patients from the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Jimmy Fund during their trips to Fenway Park, Fort Myers, and Chicago. Lester has also served as spokesman for the Jimmy Fund's Rally Against Cancer.
"Jon's own hard-fought battle with cancer motivated him to help children suffering from this miserable disease," said Red Sox President/CEO Larry Lucchino. "His dedication to children and philanthropic work with them is an inspiration to us all."
"I am honored to be nominated for this recognition," said Lester. "I look forward to continuing the work I have started with the many organizations and hospitals who every day help children combat this terrible disease."
Beginning today, fans are encouraged to participate in the process of selecting the national award recipient by visiting MLB.com/ClementeAward to vote for one of the 30 Club nominees. Participating fans will be automatically registered for a chance to win a trip to the 2012 World Series, where the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet will be announced. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 14th, and the winner of the fan poll will receive one vote among those cast by a selection panel.
All Clubs playing at home today will recognize their local nominees as part of Roberto Clemente Day ceremonies. Because the Red Sox are on the road, Lester will be recognized during a pre-game ceremony on Saturday, September 22 before the 1:10 p.m. game against the Baltimore Orioles. As part of the league-wide celebration, the Roberto Clemente Day logo will appear on the bases and the official dugout lineup cards.