The Roberto Clemente Award is, like many of these kinds of things, some mixture of affirmation of community service and PR push for MLB and its corporate sponsors. The reward is defined as such:
The Roberto Clemente Award is given annually to the Major League Baseball (MLB) player who "best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual's contribution to his team", as voted on by baseball fans and members of the media.
Clemente, if you were unaware somehow, was famously killed on New Year's Eve, 1972 when the plane he was on, which was providing cargo to earthquake victims in Nicaragua, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean. Mariners to win the award include Harold Reynolds (1991), Edgar Martinez (2004) and Jamie Moyer (2005).
Now, it's obviously a slow time for the site and the team is playing out the string. This is not the kind of news that we write about in April or May. But that's because they don't announce this award in April or May! Baseball times these things to help me, a baseball blogger, provide you, an interested (?) reader something to read over your lunch. If this does not strike your fancy there was a baseball game yesterday for you to read about. There are more coming. Also there was a football game yesterday. That was fun.
Anyway, the deal with the Roberto Clemente Award:
What is it?
I just told you. Please try to keep up.
How does it work?
Every team nominates a player from their roster they feel is the best representative they have of community service and involvement. Then, commencing on Roberto Clemente Day (September 19) and running through October 9th fans can vote for their preferred candidate at www.chevybaseball.com.
Please note that chevybaseball.com is not the same thing as #DomiNoNo, #Silverado High Strength Hits, #WorldSeries Trip Brough to You By @TacoBell, and other such corporate crossovers which help fill the MLB coffers.
So, smartass, aside of all that whooey should I give a crap?
I mean I think so. Granted MLB's insistence on using "How to Crossbrand for Dummies?" for their social media strategy is a perpetual reason to roll the eyes, however the acknowledgment of community involvement is a very worthwhile goal. Professional sports, and the athletes that play them, generate amazing amounts of revenue. Many athletes, whatever their very human shortcomings and pratfalls, recognize that this remarkable financial privilege provides a unique opportunity to connect with those in the community without means, health, or other disadvantages. Community service is awesome, and we should absolutely celebrate it.
Ok well that's fine I guess. Who did the Mariners nominate?
Why I'm glad you asked. It's sock model, Hawt Corner band member and enjoyable smiler Charlie Furbush. In the press release the Mariners cite "Furbush served the last two years as host for the Mariners Care Cystic Fibrosis Golf Tournament, which raised over $410,000 for research." Mariners Care is an excellent charity, and has been for some time. Lookout Landing congratulates Charlie Furbush on the nomination.
What are ol' Charlie's chances of winning this award?
Well not good I'm afraid. This, like many PR-type awards (pssssst. All awards are these.) tend to go to players who are better known for their baseball prowess and who also happen to do a bit of charity work. Just in the last 10 years winners include Albert Pujols, Derek Jeter, Clayton Kershaw, David Ortiz, Carlos Beltran and others. Charlie Furbush lacks the name recognition. Sorry Charlie.
What about the real stuff, when the cameras are off and Charlie is out among the commoners? What's he like then?
Well let's throw it over to official Lookout Landing Gossip Correspondant and professional alcohol consumer David Skiba:
"Charlie was being extremely welcoming to all the folks at King's who were near him. He payed special attention to a young man and two young ladies who were hoping to simply have a beer in his company and aura. As I left the King's Hardware Store (it's actually a bar, to my surprise and misfortune), I said to him, 'Get better, we need you.' With a glimmer in his eye he replied, 'Thank you, but, David, it is you we really need.' Shocked, he handed me an appletini and we drank as brothers."
Lookout Landing congratulates Charlie Furbush on his nomination for the Roberto Clemente Award, and his taste in bars.