Ventura, CA – (November 1, 2012) Regal author Clayton Kershaw, at the age of 24, became the youngest Major League Baseball player to win the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Kershaw was selected as the winner for this award on October 28 from 30 club nominees. Major League Baseball presented him the trophy at a news conference before Game 4 of the World Series at Comerica Park in Detroit, recognizing the player who best represents the game through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.
The Roberto Clemente Award pays tribute to Clemente’s achievements and character by recognizing current players who truly understand the value of helping others. The Award is named for the 15-time MLB All-Star and Hall of Famer 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 is proud to present our most prestigious off-field honor, the Roberto Clemente Award, to Clayton Kershaw,” Commissioner Bud Selig said. “His accomplishments on the mound at such a young age are well known to baseball fans, but I am delighted that our game can shine a light on Clayton’s extraordinary efforts with his wife, Ellen, to make a difference in the lives of children in Zambia. Clayton Kershaw is a leader through his inspiring example, and he is a wonderful representation of the enduring, philanthropic spirit of Roberto Clemente.”
Kershaw and his wife Ellen, co-authors of the book, Arise: Live Out Your Faith and Dreams on Whatever Field You Find Yourself (Regal 2012), recently founded their charitable foundation, Kershaw’s Challenge, which believes in the transformation of at-risk children and communities through the benevolence and impact of others. Kershaw’s Challenge encourages people to use whatever God-given passion, purpose or talent they have been given to make a difference and give back to others in need. The cornerstone charity of the foundation is Arise Africa, through which the Kershaws partner to build and sustain Hope’s Home, an orphanage for children in Lusaka, Zambia. Funds raised from the sales ofArise go directly to Kershaw’s Challenge
“Striking out to Serve,” which began in 2011, continued this season with Kershaw donating $100 to Kershaw’s Challenge for every batter he strikes out. “Striking out to Serve” in 2011 raised enough money for Kershaw’s Challenge to buy land and to build Hope’s Home. This year, money raised will furnish the orphanage, buy farmland and build a chicken coop. Additionally, Kershaw’s Challenge is hoping to create an emergency fund since most of the children in Zambia battle disease and infection related to HIV and AIDS.
This offseason, Kershaw plans to hold baseball clinics in his hometown of Dallas, Texas as additional fundraising for the foundation. Kershaw and Ellen will also make their annual trip to Lusaka, Zambia to visit and continue to help build Hope’s Home.
“It’s incredible to both of us,” Ellen said. “It’s the most important award he could ever get, because it speaks about his character and his passion and his heart. And what we’ve kind of gotten to create together, which is combining our two passions, and using this platform for good. It’s amazing. It’s such an honor. I don’t know if anything can top this.”