RHP James Shields is the Tampa Bay Rays nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, given annually to a player "who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.''
Shields and his wife, Ryane, are involved in efforts to help foster children.
He has worked with Eckerd and the Heart Gallery of Pinellas and Pasco over the past five seasons, and last season created the Big Game James Club, which includes a suite at the Trop for kids to watch games.
Per the MLB release:
"The club creates normalcy and a sense of stability and belonging for foster children served by Eckerd. BGJC members get to watch a series of Rays games from the designated Big Game James Club suite. Throughout the season, they celebrate birthdays, get surprise visits from Rays mascot Raymond and are treated to special on-the-field team days where they meet and interact with James and other Rays players.
The suite also serves as an event space for Eckerd and the Heart Gallery to host "Match Events." Potential parents are invited to Rays games to meet and interact with children available for adoption in a non-threatening, fun environment. Since its inception in 2010 the program has been credited for creating at least two "forever families."
Chevrolet will donate $7,500 to a charity of Shields' choice during a pregame ceremony on Saturday, September 24. He has chosen to split the donation between Eckerd and the Heart Gallery of Pinellas and Pasco.