Billy Butler named Royals nominee for the 2011 Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet

Major League Baseball and Chevrolet, the official vehicle of Major League Baseball, today announced that Billy Butler was named the Royals 2011 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Butler is one of the 30 Club finalists 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. Tomorrow will mark the tenth annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball to honor Clemente’s legacy and to officially recognize local Club nominees of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet.

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. It is named for the 12-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. 

Butler, who will be recognized in a special pregame ceremony prior to the club’s 3:10 p.m. game against the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday, is involved in a number of community outreach efforts in the Kansas City area, including work with the Bishop Sullivan Center.  The center, created in 1972 by three area Catholic parishes in response to the growing number of people living in poverty in their neighborhood, is one of the largest providers of emergency assistance in the Kansas City area.  The Bishop Sullivan Center now operates three food pantries, a soup kitchen, employment services, a clothes closet, elderly services, and financial emergency assistance.

Butler’s wife, Katie, began volunteering at the Bishop Sullivan Center in 2007 and urged her husband to create a program to benefit the center.  In 2008, the Butlers unveiled the Hit-It-A-Ton program to help feed the hungry in the Kansas City area.  The matching donation program, in which individuals and corporate sponsors match Butler’s donation for each home run and double he hits, is now in its fourth year and continues to grow.  For more information on the Hit-It-A-Ton program, visit

The distinguished list of national Roberto Clemente Award recipients includes 13 members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame:

1971   Willie Mays*                       1985    Don Baylor                  1998   Sammy Sosa

1972   Brooks Robinson*               1986    Garry Maddox              1999   Tony Gwynn*

1973   Al Kaline*                          1987    Rick Sutcliffe                2000   Al Leiter  

1974   Willie Stargell*                     1988    Dale Murphy                2001   Curt Schilling

1975   Lou Brock*                        1989    Gary Carter*                2002   Jim Thome

1976   Pete Rose                         1990    Dave Stewart               2003   Jamie Moyer

1977   Rod Carew*                       1991    Harold Reynolds            2004   Edgar Martinez

1978   Greg Luzinski                      1992    Cal Ripken, Jr.*            2005   John Smoltz      

1979   Andre Thornton                  1993    Barry Larkin                 2006    Carlos Delgado

1980   Phil Niekro*                        1994    Dave Winfield*             2007      Craig Biggio

1981   Steve Garvey                     1995     Ozzie Smith                 2008    Albert Pujols

1982   Ken Singleton                     1996     Kirby Puckett*             2009    Derek Jeter

1983   Cecil Cooper                       1997     Eric Davis                   2010    Tim Wakefield                 

1984   Ron Guidry

* Member of Baseball Hall of Fame

Beginning on Roberto Clemente Day, fans are encouraged to participate in the process of selecting the national award recipient by visiting, a site powered by and created specifically for the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet platform, to vote for one of the 30 Club nominees. Voting ends on October 9, and participating fans will be automatically registered for a chance to win a trip to the 2011 World Series, where the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet will be announced.
The winner of the fan poll will receive one vote among those cast by the selection panel, which includes Commissioner Selig; Vera Clemente, MLB Goodwill Ambassador and wife of the late Hall of Famer; Baseball Hall of Famer, TBS analyst and former Roberto Clemente Award winner Cal Ripken Jr.; MLB Network analyst, TBS broadcaster and former Roberto Clemente Award winner John Smoltz; MLB Network analysts and former Roberto Clemente Award winners Al Leiter and Harold Reynolds; and senior correspondent Hal Bodley.
All Clubs playing at home on September 14 will acknowledge their local nominees as part of Roberto Clemente Day ceremonies, while visiting Clubs will honor their nominees before another September home game.
As part of the league-wide celebration, the Roberto Clemente Day logo will appear on the bases and the official dugout lineup cards.

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