Being a professional athlete comes with many joys and perks. You get to play the game you love and call it your career, and if you’re lucky and good enough, you can help set up your family for life. Indeed, the hard work pays off for an athlete when the personal accolades start coming in. All-Star selections, Gold Glove awards, and so on. But when you earn recognition from your peers for your work off the field, then you know you’ve truly made it.
What sets a guy like Dodgers’ third baseman Justin Turner apart from many is his ability to give back to the community. And now, for all the efforts from Turner all season long off the field, the veteran was named the winner of this year’s Roberto Clemente Award.
The award is given to those who “best represent the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.” Turner joins Clayton Kershaw and Steve Garvey as the only Dodgers to receive the award.
JT spoke about the award with MLB.com.
“It feels like [everything] has really taken off since the day I put the Dodger uniform on,” Turner said. “So obviously, it’s very special to me, growing up in Southern California and getting to wear that jersey and be a part of an organization that has so much history and has so many people who have impacted the game in so many different ways. I’m just trying to do my little part.”
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 31, 2022
This award is considered among many as MLB’s most prestigious honor and this award comes as little surprise to Turner who was nominated for the award five times in his career. And now, finally, he brings home an award that he recently told Chris Rose of Jomboy Media was something that he wanted more for his wife Kourtney than himself.
Justin and Kourtney founded the Justin Turner Foundation back in 2016. JTF supports homeless veterans, children and families battling life-altering diseases and illnesses as well as youth baseball organizations. In 2021, the Dream Center renamed its food bank to the Justin and Kourtney Turner Food Bank which currently supplies to more than 66 Food Banks in Los Angeles.
The Turners also frequently visit UCLA Mattel’s Children’s Hospital and Cedar-Sinai Medical Center to visit and help children battling illness. Turner sent one of his cleats to the children and let them color it before wearing it in a doubleheader on September 20.
Over the years, the foundation has hosted numerous charitable events including the annual Justin Turner Golf Tournament, a 5K event that raises funds for the LA Dream Center, and even saw the introduction of an All-Star weekend bingo tournament that was a huge success earlier this summer.
In September, JT spoke about being nominated for the award again where he shared just what the award would mean for him.
“It’s really an honor. I’ve received this nomination multiple times now, and with all the teammates that I have that are active in the community, to be the one that is selected to represent the Dodgers, it’s pretty special,” Turner said. “But more importantly, to be the person that is Justin Turner for the Roberto Clemente award, knowing how much he cared first about community and giving back and lifting people up, that is truly special to Kourt and I and something we don’t take for granted.”
Justin and Kourtney are true heroes in the community and there are few that were more deserving of this honor. Congratulations to Justin, Kourtney, and everyone at the Justin Turner Foundation for this incredible recognition!
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