Earlier this month, Major League Baseball and Chevrolet, the official vehicle of Major League Baseball, announced that third baseman Ryan Zimmerman was named the Washington Nationals' 2013 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet.
Zimmerman is one of 30 Club finalists nominated for the annual award, which recognizes a Major League Baseball player who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement. Nationals fans have until Sunday, October 6 to vote for Ryan at ChevyBaseball.com for the national award.
Participating fans will be automatically registered for a chance to win a trip to the 2013 World Series, where the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet will be announced. The winner of the fan vote will receive one vote among those cast by a selection panel.
Zimmerman's commitment to the community is best illustrated through his work with the ziMS Foundation, which he founded in 2006, his first full season in Major League Baseball. The ziMS Foundation aims to raise money for programs benefitting those afflicted with multiple sclerosis, a disease close to his heart as his mother, Cheryl was diagnosed with MS in 1995. In 2012, the foundation surpassed $1 million in donations for MS charities and research. Serving as president, Zimmerman is actively involved in promoting the foundation and raising awareness for the disease. The foundation holds several fundraising events annually, including ziMS Funfest, the Golf and Gala, and the popular Night at the Park held at Nationals Park. Zimmerman's community outreach also includes visits to local children's hospitals several times each season and, since 2007, hosting members of MS Society's Kidventure program - a recreation and education program for children who have a parent with MS - at Nationals games.
Since becoming the first draft pick in Nationals history in 2005, Zimmerman has been a standout on and off the field. He is well-decorated for his contributions in the community, having won the 2011 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award and the 2009 Jefferson Award for public service, as well as being selected as the Nationals nominee for the Roberto Clemente in Award in 2007 and 2012 and the Branch Rickey Award in 2011, 2012 and 2013
"With a cause so close to his heart, Ryan has continually exuded an unparalleled passion for service through his foundation," Lara Potter, Nationals Vice President of Communications said. "We are proud to have a community ambassador like Ryan represent our team."
The Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet pays tribute to Clemente's achievements and character by recognizing current players who truly understand the value of helping others. The 15-time MLB All-Star and Hall of Famer died in a plane crash on New Year's Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.