MLB’s Granderson nominated for Roberto Clemente Award

Curtis Granderson high-fives a participant at his baseball camp

New York Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson, a UIC alum, works with young players at his summer youth baseball camp at UIC’s Granderson Stadium. Photo: Joshua Clark/UIC Photo Services

 

New York Mets outfielder and UIC alum Curtis Granderson is being recognized for his contributions on and off the field.

Granderson is one of 30 Major League Baseball players nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award, which recognizes players for sportsmanship, community involvement and contributions to their teams.

Fans can vote now through Oct. 9 at chevybaseball.com to help decide the winner of the award, presented at the World Series.

Roberto Clemente Day was established by the major leagues to honor the legacy of Clemente, the 12-time All-Star and Pirates Hall of Famer who died in a plane crash in 1972 while trying to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.

“This award represents everything Roberto stood for as a ‘good Samaritan,’” said MLB goodwill ambassador Vera Clemente, Roberto’s wife. “Through the Roberto Clemente Award, today’s players are recognized for these same qualities.”

Granderson, a 2003 graduate in business, donated $5 million to UIC to build Curtis Granderson Stadium, which opened in April 2014. The stadium is home to Flames baseball, as well as Chicago youth sports organizations.

“Without UIC, I wouldn’t be standing here today,” Granderson said at the opening celebration in 2014. “UIC has played an integral role in shaping who I am as an athlete and as a person, so I’m confident that the facility will have a tremendous impact on our community. I’ve learned many important lessons growing up in Chicago, both in the classroom and on the baseball field, so it’s a privilege to now help provide those same opportunities.”

Granderson’s nonprofit organization, Grand Kids Foundation, promotes youth development through education, physical fitness and nutrition. He is an international ambassador of Major League Baseball, national ambassador for the White House’s anti-obesity campaign, Let’s Move!, and spokesperson for the Partnership for a Healthier America’s Drink Up water initiative.