CLEVELAND — EDITOR'S NOTE: The video above previously aired on the Ultimate Cleveland Sports Show on Aug. 8, 2022.
Starting pitcher Triston McKenzie has been named the Cleveland Guardians' nominee for the 2022 Roberto Clemente Award.
The award is annually presented to the "player who best represents the game of Baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field."
McKenzie is one of the 30 players nominated across the league for the award.
"To be nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award is a huge honor for me,” said McKenzie. “As a baseball player, it’s not only what I can do on the field but how I can impact my community. To me, even the fact that my small efforts are worthy of being nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award is a huge blessing, and I’m just happy to be in this place.”
The 25-year-old's nomination comes thanks to McKenzie's dedication to Northeast Ohio's youth community.
McKenzie has been involved in mentoring eighth graders at the Cleveland Metropolitan School District's Valley View Boys' Leadership Academy. During spring training and the start of the regular season, McKenzie regularly met with his class of 20 on Zoom.
During the mentorship program, McKenzie highlighted the influence that Jackie Robinson had on his personal path to the MLB. Later in the year, McKenzie hosted his mentees at Progressive Field for a pizza party and a game. Prior to the game, McKenzie spoke to the class about his day-to-day responsibilities.
"McKenzie thrives in the community with groups he meets with on a reoccurring basis. He enjoys not only meeting youth but especially having the chance to interact with the same youth again in the future," said the Cleveland Guardians in a media release.
McKenzie continues to give back to the community as he works with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio (BGCNEO). In June 2022, BGCNEO named McKenzie their 2022 Race for Kids Ambassador.
On Roberto Clemente Day, Thursday, Sept. 15, McKenzie will be honored prior to the Cleveland Guardians' game against the Chicago White Sox.
Beginning today, fans can vote for the Roberto Clemente Award at https://www.mlb.com/community/roberto-clemente-award. Fans can vote until Wednesday, Oct. 5.
The winner of the fan vote will count as one vote cast by the blue-ribbon panel, which will determine the winner.
A full bio for McKenzie can be found HERE.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The video above previously aired on 3News in July 2021.