SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Former Chicago White Sox player Paul Konerko and Jimmy Rollins of the Philadelphia Phillies were named co-winners of the Roberto Clemente Award on Friday for their community work.
“Paul Konerko and Jimmy Rollins are two of baseball’s great ambassadors and have long distinguished themselves as leaders both on the field and in their communities,” said Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig said.
“Their commitment to making a difference in the lives of children is a wonderful reflection of the legacy Roberto Clemente has left on our game and in society.”
Both have been heavily involved in helping children.
Konerko, who retired this season, founded the Bring Me Home Campaign in 2007 with former teammate Jim Thome and their respective wives, and have raised nearly $500,000 for school supplies and back-to-school clothing.
Konerko has also hosted a number of charities at the White Sox stadium and promoted prostate cancer awareness.
Rollins has led a long-running charitable ticket program and reading program for inner-city children in Philadelphia and created The Rollins Family Foundation, which makes healthy food available to at-risk children and families in the area.
He also has helped raise more than $1 million for juvenile diabetes research, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and to fight against child abuse.
The award is named after Pittsburgh Pirates’ Hall of Famer Clemente, who died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
Editing by Greg Stutchbury