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Chris Archer nominated for Roberto Clemente Award

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via team press release.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Baseball and Chevrolet, the official vehicle of MLB, today announced that Chris Archer was named the Tampa Bay Rays 2015 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet.

Wednesday, September 16th marks the fourteenth annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball to honor Clemente's legacy and to officially recognize local Club nominees of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Chris Archer is one of the 30 Club finalists for the annual award, which recognizes a Major League Baseball player who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement. The Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet pays tribute to Clemente's achievements and character by recognizing current players who truly understand the value of helping others.

Prior to Wednesday's game vs. the New York Yankees, the Rays will hold their Roberto Clemente Day celebration at Tropicana Field. Staff and Rays players will don Roberto Clemente Day T-shirts and all fans who donate a canned food item to Feeding Tampa Bay at the Tropicana Field gates will receive the T-shirt. Archer, who is scheduled to pitch on Wednesday, will be recognized pregame on Thursday, September 17.

In his third season with the Rays, Archer has left an impression both on the mound and in the community. Though he was named to his first All-Star Team in July, his biggest contributions have come off the field.

The 26-year-old focuses much of his efforts on helping on underserved youth. He established the Archway Foundation in an effort to empower young people to fulfill their dreams. Archway sponsors two youth baseball teams—the Archers—made up of young men who, once selected, must participate in all team activities, including required readings and community service projects. Archway also donates to Raleigh-area nonprofits and during the holiday season, the foundation provides food and gifts to local families in need.

Archer has also teamed with Good Sports, Inc., a nonprofit that helps provide athletic equipment to disadvantaged youth nationwide. Together, Archer and Good Sports have donated over $67,000 in equipment youth programs in Tampa Bay. The right-hander donates, along with the Rays and WTSP 10 News, $75 for each strikeout he records this season to the Tampa RBI program and Burg Baseball, Inc. So far this season, his 236 strikeouts have raised $17,700 for those leagues. Archer has also visited MLB RBI programs while on the road, including stops in Philadelphia, Toronto, Cleveland, Detroit and the 2015 RBI World Series in Texas. 

Archer makes frequent visits to All Children's hospital, area high schools, foster homes and the Pinellas Juvenile Detention Center, attends local recreation centers and after-school programs to read with young children as part of the "Reading with the Rays" program and headed the annual Big Brothers, Big Sisters Bowl for Kids' Sake event which raised almost $50,000 for BBBS of Tampa Bay.

"I'm thankful and honored to be the Roberto Clemente Award nominee for an organization that is so active in the community," said Archer. "Clemente embodied everything that is great about the game of baseball. To be spoken of in the same breath as him is indescribable."

The distinguished list of past Roberto Clemente Award winners includes 16 members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame:

1971

Willie Mays+**

1983

Cecil Cooper 

1995

Ozzie Smith+

2007

Craig Biggio+

1972

Brooks Robinson+**

1984

Ron Guidry

1996

Kirby Puckett+

2008

Albert Pujols

1973

Al Kaline+

1985

Don Baylor

1997

Eric Davis

2009

Derek Jeter

1974

Willie Stargell+

1986

Garry Maddox

1998

Sammy Sosa

2010

Tim Wakefield

1975

Lou Brock+

1987

Rick Sutcliffe

1999

Tony Gwynn+

2011

David Ortiz

1976

Pete Rose

1988

Dale Murphy

2000

Al Leiter

2012

Clayton Kershaw

1977

Rod Carew+

1989

Gary Carter+

2001

Curt Schilling

2013

Carlos Beltran

1978

Greg Luzinski

1990

Dave Stewart

2002

Jim Thome

2014

Paul Konerko *

1979

Andre Thornton

1991

Harold Reynolds

2003

Jamie Moyer

2014

Jimmy Rollins *

1980

Phil Niekro+

1992

Cal Ripken, Jr.+

2004

Edgar Martinez

1981

Steve Garvey

1993

Barry Larkin+

2005

John Smoltz+

1982

Ken Singleton

1994

Dave Winfield+

2006

Carlos Delgado

+ Member of The National Baseball Hall of Fame

* Co-winner

** Originally known as the Commissioner's Award (prior to 1973)

Beginning on Roberto Clemente Day, fans are encouraged to participate in the process of selecting the winner of the Roberto Clemente Award by visiting ChevyBaseball.com, which is powered by MLB Advanced Media, to vote for one of the 30 Club nominees. Voting ends on Friday, October 9. and participating fans will be automatically registered for a chance to win a trip to the 2015 World Series, where the winner of the "Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet" will be announced.

Clubs playing at home on September 16th will recognize their local nominees as part of Roberto Clemente Day ceremonies, while visiting Clubs will honor their nominees before another September home game.  As part of the league-wide celebration, the Roberto Clemente Day logo will appear on the bases and official dugout lineup cards and a special tribute video will be played in ballparks. 

The concept of honoring players for their philanthropic work was created in 1971 as the "Commissioner's Award," but was renamed to the "Roberto Clemente Award" in 1973 in honor of the Hall of Famer and 15-time All-Star who died in a plane crash on New Year's Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. Each September since 2002, Major League Baseball has commemorated Roberto Clemente Day.