Mike Sweeney has been named the Kansas City Royals recipient of the 2007 Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. He is now one of 30 Major League Club nominees for the national 2007 Roberto Clemente Award, which is given annually to the Major League Baseball player who combines outstanding skills on the baseball field with devoted work in the community. Roberto Clemente Day was established by Major League Baseball in 2002.
Sweeney will receive his award during Saturday’s pre-game ceremonies prior to the club’s 6:10 p.m. game against the New York Yankees.
The Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet is part of the company’s official sponsorship of Major League Baseball and recognizes those players who best exemplify the game of baseball through sportsmanship, community involvement and positive contributions to their teams. The award is named for Clemente, a 12-time All-Star and Hall of Famer who was killed on New Year’s Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. This award perpetuates Clemente’s memory and character by recognizing current-day players who truly understand the value of helping others.
Sweeney, who has been a strong presence in Kansas City throughout his big league career, has continued to support the community this season through various programs, including Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities (RBI) and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Kansas City. In addition, Sweeney has continued to host “Sween Team” which has provided more than $23,000 worth of Royals tickets and souvenirs for nearly 3,300 kids. The five-time All-Star, along with his wife, Shara, also remains an active contributor to several faith-based organizations around the Kansas City Metro area and established the Sweeney Family Foundation to encourage others in their faith. As part of the foundation’s work, the couple hosted the second annual Lunch for Life in Kansas City this past June. The event has raised more than $90,000 for Rachel House, a local crisis pregnancy center.
For the first time, fans can participate in the selection process of the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. From September 5 through October 5, 2007, fans can log on to mlb.com/chevy21 and vote for one of the 30 club nominees. The fan vote winner will be tallied as one vote among those cast by the selection panel, which includes Vera Clemente, wife of the late Hall of Famer, and Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. Participating fans will automatically be registered for a chance to win a trip to Game Three of the 2007 World Series, where the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet will be announced.
As the official sponsor of the Roberto Clemente Award, Chevrolet will donate $7,500 to the charity of choice of each of the 30 club recipients. Chevrolet will also be making a $30,000 donation to the charity of choice of the national Roberto Clemente Award winner and a $30,000 contribution to Roberto Clemente Sports City in Puerto Rico.