August 12, 2022

NATS: Ryan Zimmerman Named Washington Nationals’ Nominee for 2012 Roberto Clemente Award

Washington Nationals Third Baseman Ryan Zimmerman was named the team’s 2012 nominee
for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet.

Ryan Zimmerman and his family at ziMS 3rd Annual “A Night at the Park” at Nationals Park, June 14, 2012. Fiance Heather Dowden, mother Cheryl, father Keith and brother Sean. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

Ryan Zimmerman is one of the 30 Club nominees who are finalists for the national award, which is given annually to the Major League Baseball player who combines a dedication to giving back to the community with outstanding skills on the baseball field. Tuesday, September 18 will mark the eleventh 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.


The Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet recognizes players who best represent the game of baseball through sportsmanship, community involvement and positive contributions to their Clubs. The award is named for the 15-time All-Star and Hall of Famer who died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. The award pays tribute to Clemente’s achievements and character by recognizing talented current players who truly understand the value of helping others.
Roberto Clemente statue at PNC Park in Pittsburgh

Zimmerman’s commitment to the community is best illustrated through his work with the ziMS Foundation, which he founded in 2006, his first full season in the Major Leagues. The ziMS Foundation aims to raise money for multiple sclerosis awareness and programs benefitting those afflicted with the disease. Serving as president, Zimmerman is actively involved in and donates his time, money and image to promoting the foundation. This year the foundation expects to surpass $1 million in donations for MS charities and research. The foundation holds several fundraising events annually, including ziMS Funfest, the Golf and Gala and the popular Night at the Park held at Nationals Park. Zimmerman’s community outreach also includes visits to local children’s hospitals several times each season.

Since becoming the first draft pick in Washington Nationals history in 2005, Zimmerman has been a standout on and off the field. He is well-decorated for his contributions in the community, having won the 2011 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award (nominated again in 2012) and the 2009 Jefferson Award for public service, as well as being selected as the Nationals nominee for the Roberto Clemente in Award in 2007 and the Branch Rickey Award in 2011 and 2012. In addition to honoring Zimmerman as part of a special on-field ceremony prior to tonight’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, video tributes celebrating Clemente’s career and dedication to helping others will run throughout the evening.  

“We are so proud to have Ryan represent the Nationals,” Lara Potter, Nationals Vice President of Communications said. “His strength of character, dedication to helping others and passion for the game truly illustrate the ideals set forth by Roberto Clemente.”

The Washington Nationals will host Roberto Clemente Day, on Wednesday, September 19 when they host the Los Angeles Dodgers. Zimmerman will be recognized prior to the game in an on-field ceremony.

Fans can vote online and participate in the process of selecting the national award recipient by visiting from September 18 to October 14 to vote for one of the 30 Club nominees.

Ryan Zimmerman making one of his fantastic plays to first base at Nationals Park. (Cheryl Nichols/District Sports Page)

About Cheryl Nichols

Cheryl Nichols is a Columnist and Photographer for District Sports Page. She is credentialed to cover the Washington Capitals and has reported on the community service and fan events since 2006. Cheryl has been published in The Washington Post and many other local media. She was a credentialed photographer for the 2010 season covering the Washington Nationals. You can follow her on Twitter @cnichols14.

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