1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Rays

Kevin Kiermaier is Rays nominee for MLB Roberto Clemente award

Award is given annually to player who represents baseball with character, community involvement, philanthropy and more.
Kevin and Marisa Kiermaier walk with dream child Kelsie Vance at the Rays on the Runway fashion show in 2018. [BRIAN JAMES  |  Special to the Times]
Kevin and Marisa Kiermaier walk with dream child Kelsie Vance at the Rays on the Runway fashion show in 2018. [BRIAN JAMES | Special to the Times]
Published Sep. 12, 2019

ARLINGTON, Texas — Kevin Kiermaier is the Rays nominee for MLB’s prestigious Roberto Clemente award.

The honor is bestowed annually on a player who "best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.''

Kiermaier is involved most visibly with the Children’s Dream Fund, the St. Petersburg-based foundation that helps children with life-threatening illnesses by fulfilling requests to take trips, attend events, meet celebrities and the like. Kiermaier this year, with his wife, Marisa, donated $25,000 to establish the Kiermaier’s Kids program, funding the dreams for five children, and hosting some at the Trop. He is a regular participant in the annual Rays on the Runway fashion show which benefits the Dream Fund.

Kiermaier is also a participant in the Rays’ Tuesday’s Champion program in which the team hosts a child from the Dream Fund or Make-a-Wish Foundation and provides an on-field opportunity to meet players, pose for photos and other interactions.

“This award means the world to me,” Kiermaier said in a statement from the team. “I love seeing all the smiles and faces of people who I have helped and I plan on continuing to do my part off the field and in the community.”

Kiermaier will be recognized in a pregame ceremony at the Trop on Sept. 20. There is a $7,500 charitable donation that comes with the nomination, and he will give that to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tampa Bay.

“Roberto Clemente was a true humanitarian. He left an eternal legacy, because of both his performance on the field and as an advocate for Latin people around the world,” said team president Matt Silverman in a statement. “Kevin consistently impresses us both on and off the field with his uplifting, hard-working and giving character. Our organization is extremely proud of his contributions to the Tampa Bay community, and we’re thrilled for him to be our nominee.”

The overall Clemente award winner is chosen by a panel that includes MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, Vera Clemente (wife of Roberto) and others. There is also one vote as the result of fan voting, which started Thursday at


  1. Former White Sox manager Tony La Russa stands with his Baseball Hall of Fame plaque while being honored before a game in Chicago on Aug.  30, 2014. [MATT MARTON  |  AP]
    "There was a toggle switch in the manager’s office and a camera zoomed in on the catcher,” Jack McDowell says of the setup he claims was installed by the Hall of Fame manager.
  2. In this 2007 file photo, Alyssa Nakken making the all-metro softball team at Woodland High School in Sacramento, Calif. [RENEE T. BONNAFON  |]
    Alyssa Nakken, 29, a former standout softball player at Sacramento State, will be in uniform for the big-league team, though not in the dugout during games.
  3. After five winning seasons, and four playoff appearances, in Chicago, Joe Maddon will return to the Angels where he spent 12 seasons as a big league coach before coming to Tampa Bay. [JEFF GRITCHEN  |]
    As he gets nearer to Hall of Fame standards, the former Rays manager is contemplating a return to some old-style baseball ideas in his new gig as the Angels manager.
  4. New York Mets manager Carlos Beltran listens to a question during the Major League Baseball winter meetings on Dec. 10, 2019. [GREGORY BULL  |  AP]
    The move comes after the Astros and Red Sox also lose their managers.
  5. In this Oct. 31, 2018, file photo, Red Sox manager Alex Cora rides with the trophy during a parade in Boston to celebrate the team's World Series championship over the Dodgers. Cora was fired by the Red Sox on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, a day after baseball commissioner Rob Manfred implicated him in the sport's sign-stealing scandal. [CHARLES KRUPA  |  AP]
    All Major League Baseball might have to do to solve its sign-stealing problem is look no further than what’s going on in the college game.
  6. Alex Cora was an Astros assistant coach before the Red Sox hired him as manager in 2018, when he led Boston to a World Series title. [DAVID J. PHILLIP  |  AP]
    Major League Baseball continues to investigate a scandal that could include Boston.
  7. The Rays have no worries about Yoshitomo Tsutsugo's bat, but they're going to watch him closely in the spring to figure out whether he fits better at third base or a corner outfield position. [SHIZUO KAMBAYASHI  |  AP]
    Defense remains strong up the middle, but could get a little wobbly elsewhere as the Rays try to figure out the best place to slot everyone in.
  8. Only 29 days until Rays pitchers and catchers report to spring training in Port Charlotte. Single-game tickets for games at Charlotte Sports Park go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. on
    Tampa Bay plays a 16-game home schedule at Charlotte Sports Park, then comes home for a one-game exhibition against prospects at Tropicana Field on March 24.
  9. At 6-foot-10, Aaron Slegers became the tallest pitcher in Rays history when he made his first and only appearance for Tampa Bay on Aug. 23, 2019 at Baltimore. Slegers threw three innings of one-run ball to get his first big league save. [JULIO CORTEZ  |  AP]
    Tampa Bay boosts its depth at Triple-A Durham by signing a handful of players with big-league experience who could come in handy in case of injuries.
  10. Ji-Man Choi's strikeout ended the American League Division Series for the Rays in October, but Major League Baseball says there is no evidence the Astros were breaking the rules to steal signs during the 2019 postseason. [DIRK SHADD  |  Times]
    Tampa Bay went 8-6 against the Astros in 2017-18 when MLB says Houston was breaking rules. The commissioner’s office says the cheating stopped before the 2019 postseason.