Over 45 years of
Clemente Award Winners

Last September marked the 45th anniversary of Roberto’s 3,000th hit. One of baseball’s most triumphant moments, the crown jewel of baseball’s most beloved player. But for Roberto it wasn’t all about the records broken and games won. It was about his service to humanity. He once said that he wanted

“to be remembered as a ballplayer who gave all he had to give.”

His statement wasn’t specific to baseball. Roberto considered himself, first and foremost, a servant to humanity.


Susan Wagner Roberto Clemente sculpture
Photo: Jean Fruth / National Baseball Hall of Fame

Celebration of the
World Changers

In 1971, Willie Mays received the award as well as Brooks Robinson in 1972, which was then called the Commissioner’s Award. In 1973, the award was given to Al Kaline as the Roberto Clemente Award for its humanitarian qualities.

Thankfully, over 40 of the Clemente award winners are still with us today. Most have retired, but are still active and doing good work for their communities. We hope to have as many of them present as possible for the Clemente Hall of Fame dedication ceremony in November 2018. Our Hall of Fame is a celebration of these humanitarian efforts. Our hope is that we can help cultivate the next generation of world-changers.

Kids at historic Santurce Cangrejeros dugout.
Photo: Jean Fruth / National Baseball Hall of Fame

Kept in a Place of Honor

The Roberto Clemente Award stands out among the other MLB awards. Award winners embody Roberto’s values on the diamond and in the community. The Roberto Clemente Award has established itself as one of baseball’s most prestigious humanitarian awards.

Award winner Albert Pujols’s Roberto Clemente Award occupies a place of honor in his home away from his many other awards.

“It’s the greatest award you can win… This will go front and center in front of anything I’ve ever done on the baseball field.”
- Anthony Rizzo, 2017 Winner

Photo: Donald Sparks

A Higher Calling

When he was asked what question he would ask Roberto if he had the chance, Albert Pujols said: “Why did you get on that plane to serve those people in Nicaragua who you did not know and had never met?”

Pujols then gave a suggestion for Roberto’s hypothetical response: “‘Because it was my responsibility.’ I feel the same way. It is my responsibility.”

Roberto recognized very specific wrongs in the world, and was compelled by a higher power to do what he could to make it right. It was his responsibility, and we are all called to use our talents to answer that same call.

Roberto Clemente teaching children.
Photo: Luis Clemente