Major League Baseball has announced that righthanded pitcher Michael Fulmer was named the Detroit Tigers 2018 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award, the most prominent individual player award bestowed by MLB.
The Roberto Clemente Award is the annual recognition of a player from each MLB Club who best represents the game of Baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.
Wednesday, September 5th marks the seventeenth annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball to honor Clemente’s legacy and to officially acknowledge local Club nominees of the Roberto Clemente Award. As part of the league-wide celebration, the Roberto Clemente Day logo will appear on the bases and official dugout lineup cards and a special tribute video will be played in ballparks.
Fulmeris one of the 30 Club nominees for the annual award. He will be recognized at Comerica Park on Wednesday, September 12 prior to the Tigers vs. Astros game at 1:10 p.m.
Extremely generous with his time and money, Michael Fulmer’s community support has focused on three areas close to his heart: children with special needs, families affected by breast cancer and the Armed Forces.
Working with special needs children dates to years before Fulmer reached the big leagues. As a high school student, Fulmer volunteered with an organization in Oklahoma called “Wings,” which is a special needs community.
Today, Fulmer serves as a Wings Champion, and has helped the organization raise thousands of dollars, in-part through his Autographs for a Cause program. During the offseason, Fulmer spends countless hours visiting with Wings participants and attending Wings meetings. During the season, Fulmer annually sponsors a road trip for Wings participants to travel to Arlington, Texas to catch a baseball game when the Tigers play the Rangers and participate in a meet and greet with Fulmer.
In Detroit, Fulmer annually headlines the Fantasy Camp for Kids, a youth baseball clinic for special needs children, in partnership with the Miracle League of Michigan. In 2018, Fulmer joined the Make-A-Wish Foundation, in partnership with Major League Baseball, to help grant a wish of a young man with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy to send him to the 2018 All-Star Game in Washington D.C.
Fulmer’s support of breast cancer research and awareness is also long-standing and personal. His wife Kelsey lost her mother to the disease when they were dating in high school. For the last two seasons, Fulmer served as the Detroit Tigers representative for the American Cancer Society’s “Real Men Wear Pink” Metro Detroit campaign, which raised over $123,000. Fulmer has also helped the Tigers host a breast cancer survivor on Mother’s Day and annually meets and greets survivors during the team’s Pink Out the Park event.
Additionally, in 2017, Fulmer participated in the “Strikeouts for Vets” campaign, which benefited Helmets to Hardhats, a national nonprofit program helping military service members successfully transition back into civilian life. Throughout the season, the program raised over $125,000 and Fulmer regularly helped host local veterans at Comerica Park during batting practice.
The league-wide winner of the Roberto Clemente Award, who will be announced during the 2018 World Series, will be selected among the group of nominees via a blue ribbon panel that includes individuals connected to the game. The blue ribbon panel includes Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr., representatives from MLB-affiliated networks (MLB Network, FOX Sports, ESPN and TBS) and MLB.com, as well as Vera Clemente (the late Roberto’s wife & MLB Goodwill Ambassador). Beginning on Roberto Clemente Day, fans can vote for the overall winner of the Roberto Clemente Award via a dedicated website. The site will feature bios of each of the nominees and will allow fans to vote from Roberto Clemente Day on Wednesday, September 5th, until Tuesday, September 18th. The winner of the fan vote will count as one vote among those cast by the blue ribbon panel. Fans are encouraged to vote by visiting the following link.
The concept of honoring Major League players for their philanthropic work was created in 1971 as the “Commissioner’s Award.” The recognition was renamed to the “Roberto Clemente Award” in 1973 in honor of the Hall of Famer and 15-time All-Star who died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. Major League Baseball has commemorated Roberto Clemente Day each September since 2002.
The distinguished list of past Roberto Clemente Award winners includes 17 members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame:
|1971||Willie Mays+**||1983||Cecil Cooper||1995||Ozzie Smith+||2007||Craig Biggio+|
|1972||Brooks Robinson+**||1984||Ron Guidry||1996||Kirby Puckett+||2008||Albert Pujols|
|1973||Al Kaline+||1985||Don Baylor||1997||Eric Davis||2009||Derek Jeter|
|1974||Willie Stargell+||1986||Garry Maddox||1998||Sammy Sosa||2010||Tim Wakefield|
|1975||Lou Brock+||1987||Rick Sutcliffe||1999||Tony Gwynn+||2011||David Ortiz|
|1976||Pete Rose||1988||Dale Murphy||2000||Al Leiter||2012||Clayton Kershaw|
|1977||Rod Carew+||1989||Gary Carter+||2001||Curt Schilling||2013||Carlos Beltrán|
|1978||Greg Luzinski||1990||Dave Stewart||2002||Jim Thome+||2014||Paul Konerko *|
|1979||Andre Thornton||1991||Harold Reynolds||2003||Jamie Moyer||2014||Jimmy Rollins *|
|1980||Phil Niekro+||1992||Cal Ripken, Jr.+||2004||Edgar Martinez||2015||Andrew McCutchen|
|1981||Steve Garvey||1993||Barry Larkin+||2005||John Smoltz+||2016||Curtis Granderson|
|1982||Ken Singleton||1994||Dave Winfield+||2006||Carlos Delgado||2017||Anthony Rizzo|
+ Member of The National Baseball Hall of Fame
** Originally known as the Commissioner’s Award (prior to 1973)