Now that the MLB regular season is coming to an end, the Los Angeles Dodgers are focused and heading towards a franchise-record third straight division title. Throughout the season, the Dodgers have dominated behind stellar pitching and an impressive surge of power bats. The leader for these power bats is none other than the former All-Star who has been consistently bringing in runs, Adrian Gonzalez.
Gonzalez is an ideal display of a responsible player with a deadly bat in his hands, as he has led the team in most offensive categories over the last two seasons. Although Gonzalez is known as a leader in the clubhouse, it should also be noted what the 33-year-old has been doing off the field. Major League Baseball took notice of his contributions and formally nominated Gonzalez as a candidate for the 2015 Roberto Clemente Award.
The award is sponsored by Chevrolet and seeks to reward the player who best represents baseball through positive contributions on and off the field. Through outlets such as community service and sportsmanship, players like Gonzalez have shown a positive array of contributions that deserve recognition.
Two current Dodgers have won the award in two of the past three seasons. In 2012, pitcher Clayton Kershaw received the award for all of his contributions to his charity, Kershaw’s Challenge, along with other notable achievements. In 2014, Jimmy Rollins split the award with Paul Konerko, showing a positive representation of what being an athlete means.
The native of San Diego, California, has always had a special tie to his hometown, especially after playing for the franchise for five seasons. In fact, he and his wife, Betsy Gonzalez, teamed up to form the Adrian & Betsy Gonzalez Foundation. The organization seeks to help underprivileged children in the areas of athletics, education, and health, which is what they believe are key to a child’s future.
The title was originally called the Commissioner’s Award, but was changed in 1973 to the current name to honor Clemente, who tragically died while attempting to deliver aid to the victims of the Nicaragua earthquake in 1972.