Hudson Named Clemente Nominee

Orlando Hudson was named the Dodgers' nominee for the 2009 Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevy. He is one of 30 Major League Club nominees for the national 2009 Roberto Clemente Award, which is given annually to the Major League Baseball player who combines exceptional performance on the baseball field with devoted work in the community.

    Clemente was originally signed by the Dodgers. They attempted to hide him at AAA Montreal to avoid keeping him on the Major League Roster --as they did Sandy Koufax-- because of the bonus paid him. Pittsburgh quickly understood the move, drafted him and had a ready-made Hall of Famer at Brooklyn's expense, leaving Dodgers fans dreaming of a Clemente, Snider, Furillo outfield.

September 1 will mark the eighth annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball to honor the legacy of Roberto Clemente. Fans are encouraged to participate in the selection of the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevy. From September 2 through October 4, 2009, fans can log on to www.chevy.com/clemente and vote for one of the 30 Club nominees. 

The Roberto Clemente Award, is part of Chevy's official sponsorship of Major League Baseball, and recognizes those players who best represent the game of baseball through sportsmanship, community involvement and positive contributions to their teams.

The award is named for Clemente, a 12-time All-Star and Hall of Famer who died on New Year's Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. This award perpetuates Clemente's legacy and character by recognizing current-day players who truly understand the value of helping others.

Hudson was selected as the Dodgers' nominee for his tireless work in the Los Angeles community during his first season with the club in 2009. The Dodgers will recognize Hudson with a pre-game ceremony tomorrow, September 2. Orlando's main focus in the community is the C.A.T.C.H. (Curing Autism Through Hope and Change) Foundation, a non-profit he founded to provide resources and a support system for youth coping with autism. As part of his efforts with C.A.T.C.H., Orlando has hosted special needs children at Dodger Stadium throughout the season.  

He also made visits with children to former Dodger Jim Gott's Danny's Farm, a petting zoo and arts and crafts facility designed for children with special needs, and to the Loma Alta Elementary School, where he read, answered questions, took photos, and signed autographs. 

Later this month, Orlando will host Skate for Autism, a red carpet charity event in Northridge, CA, to roll, bounce, and skate out autism.  The C.A.T.C.H. Foundation has also served children with its annual Autism Walk: Strike Out! Bowling Fundraiser, Homerun Holiday Christmas gifting ceremony, and financial contributions to local organizations and schools with youth coping with autism.

Through his Around the Mound Tour, which he created earlier this year, Orlando visited Major League Baseball's Urban Youth Academy and Van Ness Recreation Center in Los Angeles, as well as stops in several other Major League cities. He enlisted the help of several of his fellow Major Leaguers throughout the season, as they took part in a program he created to reach out to African-American youth and keep them interested in playing baseball.

Orlando's work in the community earned him the inaugural Albert Einstein Leadership Award, given by the Pasadena Unified School District Community Advisory Committee. The award recognizes an individual who, through personal success or extraordinary effort, has positively impacted the special education cause or the public's perception of special education students.

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

1971  Willie Mays* 	1991  Harold Reynolds                      
1972  Brooks Robinson*  2002  Jim Thome            
1973  Al Kaline*        1993  Barry Larkin                                  
1974  Willie Stargell* 	1994  Dave Winfield*                                      
1975  Lou Brock*       	1995  Ozzie Smith*                                   
1976  Pete Rose     	1996  Kirby Puckett*                                      
1977  Rod Carew*        1997  Eric Davis                            
1978  Greg Luzinski     1998  Sammy Sosa              
1979  Andre Thornton    1999  Tony Gwynn*                           
1980  Phil Niekro*   	2000  Al Leiter                                        
1981  Steve Garvey      2001  Curt Schilling                              
1982  Ken Singleton   	2002  Jim Thome                                     
1983  Cecil Cooper      2003  Jamie Moyer                
1984  Ron Guidry     	2004  Edgar Martinez 
1985  Don Baylor    	2005  John Smoltz       
1986  Garry Maddox	2006  Carlos Delgado
1987  Rick Sutcliffe  	2007  Craig Biggio
1988  Dale Murphy       2008  Albert Pujols
1989  Gary Carter*       
1990  Dave Stewart                    
* Member of Baseball Hall of Fame
 
The winner of the fan poll will receive one vote among those cast by the official selection panel, which includes Vera Clemente, wife of the late Hall of Famer, and Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig.

Participating fans automatically will be registered for a chance to win a trip to Game Three of the 2009 World Series, where the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevy will be announced. MLB celebrates Roberto Clemente Day as part of its broader "MLB Going Beyond" platform, an initiative that strives to integrate community service and the importance of giving back.

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