Major League Baseball announced Friday that Aaron Judge was named the New York Yankees’ 2023 nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award.
The Roberto Clemente Award is the annual recognition of a Major League player who best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.
As part of the annual program, each MLB Club nominates one player to be considered for the league-wide award in tribute to Clemente’s achievements and character.
“This is an incredible accomplishment just getting nominated for an award like this,” Judge said. “As a player, Roberto Clemente had 3,000 hits, he hit home runs, he was a great defender and a complete player. He is someone I try to model my game after. Then, off the field, he had so much compassion and care for every individual. It didn’t matter who you were. You could be the youngest fan, an older fan, or even someone who wasn’t a fan of baseball, and he took time out of his day to make you feel special. The charity work he did, how he touched every single fan, especially the young kids, that’s who you want to be. That’s a big leaguer, that’s a professional. So, getting a chance to be a nominee for this award and getting a chance to represent Roberto Clemente is one of the greatest honors.”
In 2022, Aaron Judge made baseball history by establishing an American League record of 62 home runs. He was later named the 16th captain in Yankees franchise history, and just the second since 1996.
Well before the honor of captain was bestowed on Judge, he founded the Aaron Judge ALL RISE Foundation in 2018, setting in motion the opportunity to make a difference in the communities that are near and dear to his heart, specifically San Joaquin County (Calif.), Fresno County (Calif.) and the Bronx. ALL RISE inspires young people to become responsible citizens by engaging and encouraging them to reach unlimited possibilities. Additionally, it looks to honor those who have had a positive influence on children, while creating a legacy to continue to guide future generations.
Through various programs and initiatives, ALL RISE has supported over 2,000 young people in its communities of focus. In 2023, the San Joaquin County Fair, Bridge2College and NYC Autism Charter Schools (NYCACS) all received support from ALL RISE through its mini-grant program.
In addition, the mission of inspiring youth to reach their dreams continues to be reflected via the foundation's Aspiring Leaders program. With an emphasis on the core components of leadership, citizenship, character development and community involvement, the Aspiring Leaders program aims to create a path for future generations to become responsible citizens in society.
In 2019, ALL RISE was able to provide registration and transportation for 118 students in California to one of three leadership conferences: the Modesto Spring Student Leadership Conference, the Woodland Fall Student Leadership Conference for high school students and the Woodland Fall Student Leadership Conference for middle school students. In 2023, ALL RISE sent a delegation of 17 junior high school students from Linden Unified to attend the California Association of Directors of Activities (CADA) and California Association of Student Leaders (CASL) Spring Student Leadership conference in Modesto Central Valley.
ALL RISE also focuses on establishing activities in an appropriate atmosphere to enhance the development of skills. Since 2018, Judge has hosted multiple baseball ProCamps at Fresno State. This year, ALL RISE hosted a baseball ProCamp at Fordham University in the Bronx, where Judge offered tips and hands-on instruction, fundamental baseball skills clinics, and various contests.
Judge and ALL RISE also partner with the #ICANHELP and the "I Can Help Delete Negativity" initiatives aimed at combating toxic behavior on social media by spreading positivity online. In 2020, he also represented Major League Baseball in The Real Heroes Project, a collaborative program that was created to recognize and celebrate healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Next Friday, September 15, marks the 22nd annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball to honor Clemente’s legacy as a humanitarian and to formally acknowledge Club nominees of the Roberto Clemente Award. As part of the league-wide celebration, the Roberto Clemente Day logo will appear on the bases and official dugout lineup cards, and a customized tribute video to Roberto will be shown in all MLB ballparks and on MLB Network, MLB.com, club sites and MLB social media platforms.