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October 28, 2010

Phil Caruso

Vera Clemente

Karl Ravech

Allan H. "Bud" Selig

Tim Wakefield


KARL RAVECH: I want to say thank you all for being here as we welcome another member to the very prestigious number of Major Leaguers who represent sportsmanship, community involvement and positive contributions to their clubs. I'm Karl Ravech of ESPN and welcome to the announcement that Tim Wakefield is the winner of the 2010 Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet.
Most of you know the award pays tribute to Roberto Clemente's legacy, his achievements and character by recognizing the very talented current players who truly understand the value of helping others. Along with the 2010 winner here tonight we're going to hear from several people who are instrumental in making the award presentation as special as it is. First, please allow me to introduce Major League Baseball's Goodwill Ambassador and wife of Roberto Clemente, Vera Clemente.
VERA CLEMENTE: Good afternoon. I want to welcome Tim Wakefield to the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. He's been working for so many years for different charities, and he's deserved this award for a long time ago. God bless you, keep working hard, and you are welcome to the family of the Roberto Clemente Award.
TIM WAKEFIELD: Thank you. Thank you very much.
KARL RAVECH: Many of you know who have won this award in the past, and it's an All-Star cast of not only players but people and Tim reflects that, as well.
Now let's welcome the National Promotions Manager at Chevrolet, Phil Caruso.
PHIL CARUSO: Thanks, Karl. Good afternoon, everyone. I'd like to thank you, Major League Baseball and the Clemente family for once again letting Chevrolet participate in the Roberto Clemente Award, so thank you for that. Since 2007 Chevrolet has really embraced the partnership with the Clementes, and it really has allowed us to focus on our giving back to fans and communities, so we really appreciate participating in this award.
The Clemente Award along with our grass-roots youth baseball leagues around the country have really allowed us to, again, reiterate our dedication to baseball across the country. It's my pleasure to congratulate Tim Wakefield on winning this year's award. Tim, we all know about your accomplishments on the field, very well documented across the board, but basically it's your dedication to your activities off the field and the impact that you have on the lives of the children that will last with them forever.
Congratulations again. You're truly a hero on and off the field.
KARL RAVECH: Now let's please welcome Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig.
COMMISSIONER BUD SELIG: Thank you, Karl. Well, first I'm honored to be here to present the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. I want to thank you for your Chevrolet for their continued support of what I consider to be really one of our great awards. I also want to thank Vera Clemente for continuing the legacy of her late husband Roberto by being an outstanding ambassador for Major League Baseball.
Roberto Clemente was a shining example for all of baseball with his humanitarian efforts and how he carried himself on and off the baseball field. It's appropriate that we're here in San Francisco for this press conference since the first recipient of this award was the great Willie Mays. The list of winners also includes baseball legends like Cal Ripken, Jr., Tony Gwynn, Willy Stargell and Ozzie Smith. We can now add Tim Wakefield to that distinguished list.
In addition to winning nearly 200 games in his career, Wakefield has been an All-Star when it comes to the charitable initiatives for a long time. From supporting a program for children with special needs to his tireless work with Pitching in for Kids, Tim's efforts to improve the lives of children has spanned nearly two decades.
Twelve years ago he created the Wakefield Warriors, which enables hospital patients to visit Fenway Park and watch batting practice with him. Tim's efforts to help those in need have been remarkable.
Tim, congratulations on being named the winner of the 2010 Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet, and I would add, when I looked at all 30 recipients, which I did, and knowing about Tim's work in Boston, it was an easy vote. You're a very well-deserving winner. Congratulations. (Applause).
TIM WAKEFIELD: First of all, I'd like to thank Bud and Major League Baseball, obviously Chevrolet, but more importantly the Roberto Clemente family, especially Mrs. Clemente for carrying on your late husband's legacy. It really means a lot to me. I told you earlier coming up with the Pirate organization I got to witness first hand what his legacy really meant, and I've tried to continue that into Boston and I'm very proud to accept this award tonight. I feel very blessed. There was 29 other guys that were nominees for the Roberto Clemente Award, but also there's hundreds and hundreds of other guys that do a lot of work for each club. And I know with our club in Boston there's 24 other guys that do a lot of charity work. So I feel very honored not only to be nominated but to win the award.
Thank you again, and I will definitely honor this award very proudly. Thank you.
KARL RAVECH: There's a story I recall that a couple years ago beyond what you do for the Jimmy Fund, was there a fire in a home next to you? What was that story, because that shows that Tim not only is giving his own time but there's times where he's not even expected to and he does. What was that story?
TIM WAKEFIELD: My wife and I had just moved into our new home in Hingham, Mass, and there was still a lot of homes under construction. I was walking my mother-in-law out to the car and I heard this alarm going off and I couldn't really figure out what it was. When I turned around I saw some flames coming out of the garage windows of the house next door to ours, so I immediately called 911 and was able to get them there and respond. Thankfully the owners of that home hadn't moved in yet. It was pre-move in, but the Fire Department was able to get there and put the fire out before it spread any further.

Q. Wake, when you came up through the Pirates, could you go back to that, was that impressed upon you by other players or management?
TIM WAKEFIELD: No, it was more of obviously one of the greatest Pirates to ever put the uniform on, so you knew not only his on-the-field contributions as a Pittsburgh Pirate, but you knew about his off-the-field contributions, as well. It wasn't something that was like harped upon or by veteran players or younger players, you knew it. You knew who Roberto Clemente was and what he meant, the ultimate sacrifice that he paid for everything that he did off the field. Not only was he a first-ballot Hall of Famer and one of the greatest players to ever play the game, but for what he did off the field, really epitomizes what I think athletes and people should be like, because I've said this story 100 -- you've probably heard me say it 1,000 times, it doesn't really matter what you do on the field, what matters most is making a difference in somebody else's life, and Roberto was a class act when it came to that.

Q. Where does this rank in terms of the honors that you've had? The sort of late-in-career All-Star appearance I know was important to you? Can you put into perspective where this fits in.
TIM WAKEFIELD: This is the ultimate. This is the highest. I said earlier to some other people, this has nothing to do with baseball. I mean, it has nothing to do with your statistics or anything, it has to do with your character. You guys know me in Boston, I take a lot of pride in my character. This award ultimately is the highest accomplishment I think you can attain or the highest compliment that you can get from somebody, and I'm very honored and humbled at the same time to accept this award.

Q. What are some of the responses that the kids have given you? How do you judge the success?
TIM WAKEFIELD: Repeat that question again.

Q. When you do so much for these kids, how do you see it sort of paid back?
TIM WAKEFIELD: Well, I don't expect any payback. Just being able to not only give time or money or a name, lending a name somehow, I do know Mike Andrews from the Jimmy Fund said, just spending five minutes with children in the hospital really helps their recovery, and you definitely can see that. If you can actually try to put a smile on a child's face that's suffering from an illness, it really helps their recovery.
KARL RAVECH: You've seen a lot of smiles.
TIM WAKEFIELD: I have, yes, thank you.
KARL RAVECH: Tim, congratulations.

End of FastScripts

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