All-Star Ryan Dempster today was named the Chicago Cubs recipient of the 2008 Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevy. He is one of 30 Major League Club nominees for the national 2008 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.
Tomorrow will mark the seventh annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball in 2002 to honor the legacy of Roberto Clemente. Dempster is the Cubs' Roberto Clemente Award recipient for the second time in the last three seasons, as he also earned the honor in 2006.
In his five seasons in the organization, Dempster has devoted countless hours and resources to the community. He works closely with Cubs Care and Chicago Cubs designated charities that support youth sports, children with special needs, victims of domestic violence and additional charities in the Lakeview/Wrigleyville community, including the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, Children's Memorial Hospital & University of Chicago Comer's Children's Hospital, the Sheil Park Playlot Renovation and the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Illinois.
Dempster has also sponsored an RBI team through the Union League Boys and Girls Club since 2005. RBI (Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities) Baseball is a youth outreach program designed to increase participation and interest in baseball and academics with inner-city youths.
Additionally, Dempster since 2006 has funded a charitable ticket program for disadvantaged youth by purchasing 500 tickets for several games per season. After meeting with his guests during batting practice, he provides lunch prior to the game.
This year on Mother's Day, Dempster invited to Wrigley Field children with moms who were serving in the military and women who've just returned from serving in the Middle East. He has hosted similar groups on Father's Day the previous two years.
Dempster elected to donate his $7,500 grant from Chevy to Chicago Canine Rescue.
The Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevy, is part of Chevy's official sponsorship of Major League Baseball, and recognizes those players who best represent 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 died on New Year's Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. This award perpetuates Clemente's legacy and character by recognizing current-day players who truly understand the value of helping others.
Fans are encouraged to participate in the selection of the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevy. From September 3-October 5, 2008, fans can log on to www.chevy.com/clemente 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 automatically will be registered for a chance to win a trip to Game Three of the 2008 World Series, where the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevy will be announced.
As the official sponsor of the Roberto Clemente Award, Chevy will donate $7,500 to the charity of choice of each of the 30 Club recipients. Chevy also will donate $30,000 and a Chevy vehicle to the national winner's charity of choice and an additional $30,000 will be donated by Chevy to Roberto Clemente Sports City, a not-for-profit organization in Carolina, Puerto Rico, designed to provide recreational sports activities for children.