Andrew Heaney Wants To Be Remembered For What He Did Off The Field

Andrew Heaney wants to be remembered as a great pitcher, but more importantly, as a great person.

ANAHEIM -- Roberto Clemente is remembered as a fantastic ballplayer who died far too young. However, when you ask most about him, the consensus will begin by saying, "he was a great person."

Andrew Heaney wants to be remembered in the same way.

The Angels' pitcher was recently named the nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, which is given to the player that "best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual's contribution to his team."

Contribution to the team has been the most challenging part for Heaney, who suffered a tear to his ulnar collateral ligament, which required Tommy John surgery, and took him out for the season after just one outing.

"There are a lot of really good guys on this team," said Heaney. "A lot of guys that put a lot of time, effort, and tears into their charities and organizations. So, to even be nominated out of this group of guys is amazing."

The day of his nomination, Heaney took to Twitter with a poignant message to his fans about voting for him.

"I appreciate all of the congratulations on the nomination for an award that means more than any other award to me. But I would encouarge you to take the time that you would spend voting for me and look up a worthy organization to donate your time to, a cause that means something to you or touches your heart. Maybe spend that time to call or text your friends and family and tell them how much they mean to you. Spend that time trying to make the world a better place. I believe that's what this award is all about."

Heaney had a larger message to pass along when he spoke to Scout.com, bringing attention to others passing along their own message to make the world a better place.

"I think even just getting nominated gives me a platform to kind of push my charity and help push my passions, and at least get it out there. At least make people aware, whether it brings any kind of money or any kind of effort, just the awareness is always a positive thing. I wrote what I wrote because I think that in the short amount of time - a minute - to log on and cast a vote, you can log-on and find all kinds of charities."

The overall message passed along came with a sense of humility. It came off sincere, as does the majority of things Heaney passes along to his following. It all comes for the cause of being remembered the way Clemente was - a good person.

"I think a lot of guys, when they played their career aspirations are to be remembered for what they did on the field and I think that the fact he was such a great player but is still regarded as one of the all-time great guys and philanthropist in the game. I think if he were to still be alive and understand, that would mean more to him. I do think there are guys that do do that and are conscious of that. I really believe that that's a more lasting legacy and I think for me it would make me proud for my father's last name, my mother who raised me, my family. That would mean a whole lot more to me than saying he's a really good baseball player."

Fans and media will vote for a winner of the Roberto Clemente Award, by logging-on to social media outlets and posting the hasthag, "#VoteHeaney." As much as Heaney would like to win the award, he'd prefer fans find their own outlet to be remembered.

"It can be tax deductible, it can be something you just donate your time or energy to. Even just to retweet something that they post, literally anything you do can raise awareness and bring light to any charity or situation. I really do believe that. I hate getting political but I think there's a lot of negatives things in the world right now and I think anything you can do to bring a little positivity to your own world, other people's world, your own area is needed."


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