Chris Davis is this year’s Orioles nominee for Major League Baseball’s Roberto Clemente Award, which honors the player who best represents the game through “extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions both on and off the field.”
This is the second straight season Davis has received the nomination. The Orioles first baseman and his wife, Jill, are heavily involved in the Baltimore area off the field, working with the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital, Casey Cares, Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS), Christian Youth Athletics and the OriolesREACH game-day experience program.
“It means a lot to me,” Davis said of the nomination. “I know it means a lot to my wife, as well. We do as much as we can in the community and obviously have partnered with a number of organizations over the years. But to be recognized for that work and really the time and the effort we put out there, it’s pretty humbling and a pretty big honor.”
Though Davis, 32, has struggled mightily at the plate this season, the third year of his club-record, seven-year $161 million contract, he has followed through on investing more in the community.
“I think that’s really the main reason we’re here,” Davis said. “Obviously, baseball’s a big part of it, but we’re in a position where we can help out a lot of people and really do things to make people who have had kind of a tough life to make their way a little bit easier. I know that’s important to my family and it has been over the years. We’ve been very fortunate to meet a number of people who are already doing great things and have been able to partner with them and really kind of establish those relationships and cultivate them over the years. And it’s something that I look forward to for the next few years.”
Chris and Jill Davis have served as ambassadors for the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital since 2016, making hospital visits to sick children and helping raise awareness for childhood illnesses.
For the second straight year, the Davises hosted the “Crush’s Homers for Hearts,” a charity Home Run Derby event at Camden Yards that benefits the Pediatric Heart Program of the UMCH. Additionally, Davis has donated $1,000 for each of his home runs to the UMCH Pediatric Heart Program during the 2017 and 2018 seasons, raising $42,000 to date.
They have also worked closely with the nonprofit Casey Cares, an organization that provides personalized, uplifting and ongoing programs with a focus on critically ill children and their family members. The Davises also served as race ambassadors for the annual Casey Cares 5K run/walk at Camden Yards for the third straight year.
MLB will celebrate the annual Roberto Clemente Day on Wednesday, and Davis will be honored as the Orioles’ nominee before the team’s home game next Tuesday.
The winner of the Clemente Award will be selected by an MLB blue-ribbon panel and announced during the World Series. Fans can also vote online at mlb.com/clemente21 from noon Wednesday through noon Sept. 18, and the winner of the fan vote will count as one vote among those cast by the blue ribbon panel.
The last Orioles player to win the award was Eric Davis in 1997. Cal Ripken Jr. won in 1992, Ken Singleton in 1982 and Brooks Robinson in 1972.