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October 26, 2013

Carlos Beltran

Vera Clemente

Allan H. "Bud" Selig


GREG AMSINGER:  Welcome to the announcement of the recipient of the 2013 Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet.  This prestigious award pays tribute to Roberto Clemente's legacy, achievements and character, by recognizing a Major League baseball player who best represents the game through positive contributions on and off the field, and who truly understands the value of helping others.
The Roberto Clemente Award is named for the Hall of Famer and 15‑time All‑Star who died in a plane crash in 1972 on New Year's Eve while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.¬† A wonderful humanitarian and a special ballplayer was taken from the world that night, but from the day forward his indelible giving has lived on, thanks in part to our next speaker.¬† As the MLB Goodwill Ambassador, she continues to share Roberto's message of selflessly giving back to others through service.¬† It is my pleasure to introduce the wife of Roberto Clemente, Vera Clemente (applause).
VERA CLEMENTE:  As the Baseball Ambassador I feel extremely proud of the support that MLB and Chevrolet has provided to our communities.  I know Roberto would be honored to know the way today's players support multiple causes.  My congratulations to all 2013 nominees for all that they do.  They are truly role models for this generation.
I must say this year's recipient truly exemplifies flies Roberto's philosophy.  Carlos Beltran, you are the pride of all Puerto Ricans, and a great representative around the world.  Congratulations on becoming the 2013 award recipient.  It is my privilege to welcome you as the newest member of the Chevy Roberto Clemente Award family.  (Applause.)
We are witnesses of the impact your academy has on our youth, through my grandson Roberto Antonio, who is a senior at the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy.  Thank you for all that you and Jessica continue to do to impact lives in such a positive way.
I would like to say just a few words in Spanish.
(Comments in Spanish).
GREG AMSINGER:  Also with us here today are Roberto and Vera's sons, Luis and Roberto Enrique, who is attending a Roberto Clemente Award press conference for the first time.
The Roberto Clemente Award is presented by Chevrolet, the official vehicle of Major League Baseball.  Please welcome Lisa Grutta.
LISA GRUTTA:  Thank you.  For the past seven years Chevrolet has sponsored the Roberto Clemente Award.  We're very proud to sponsor this award.  We are truly honored to be able to amplify the importance of this award and to carry on its support, Roberto Clemente's legacy.  With our partnership with Chevrolet and Major League Baseball, we have contributed and donated more than $2 million to charitable organizations across the country.
Another thing that we're really proud of is that we've engaged the baseball fans for this award.  We've had over 1.3 million fans vote online for the Roberto Clemente Award.  That's just another way to really amplify these great athletes and the worthy causes that they support.
We are also honored to once again make a monetary contribution, but this time to the Carlos Beltran Foundation.  We're also going to donate an all new Select 2014 Chevrolet to your foundation, as well.
I want to thank Major League Baseball, thank the Clemente family and especially thank you, Carlos, congratulations.  (Applause.)
GREG AMSINGER:  Thank you very much.  The recipient of the Roberto Clemente Award was selected based on a combination of fan support on ChevyBaseball.com, and a panel of dignitaries, including Vera and our next speaker.  To officially announce the winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet, please welcome Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig.
COMMISSIONER BUD SELIG:  Thank you very much.  And I'm honored to be here tonight to present the 2013 Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet.  And I want to thank Chevrolet for their continued and wonderful support of this truly prestigious recognition.
I'd also like to thank Vera Clemente for continuing the enduring legacy of her late husband Roberto, by being a wonderful goodwill ambassador for Major League Baseball.
Roberto Clemente was not only one of the most gifted players in baseball history, but more importantly a true humanitarian, who lost his life while trying to help those in need.  Major League Baseball is proud to have this annual award named after him, to recognize those in our game who continue to do special things for others.  And I must tell you what really made me proud again was when you looked at the clubs, the 30 players that had been nominated, it is amazing what our players do.  You just can't help but be proud.  And they were a tremendous group, and Carlos won because of all the things he did.  But I think Carlos would agree, you'd be proud of all the other players that have been nominated for this award and it was terrific.
Roberto was a dynamic outfielder from Puerto Rico, who is dedicated to helping others.  It is fitting that we honor this man, Carlos Beltran, a man that can be described in exactly the same manner as Roberto Clemente.  As we've seen this October, he's continued his postseason heroics, in helping to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to the 109th World Series.
While on an off‑day on June 10th and in between trips to Cincinnati, New York, Carlos flew to Puerto Rico, to make sure he was there to personally congratulate and present diploma to every single member of the academy's first graduation class.¬† A leader by example on the field, Carlos has demonstrated his leadership off the field, as well.
Along with his wife, Jessica, Carlos has made an extraordinary commitment to helping young people in St. Louis, especially those in the community's growing Latino population, through the Carlos Beltran Foundation.¬† He's also making a difference in his home country of Puerto Rico through the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy.¬† The academy helps develop baseball skills that its student‑athletes can use on the collegiate or professional level.
But most significantly the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy places its highest priority on education.  And maintaining academic success.  The academy has made a real difference in the lives of young men in Puerto Rico.  43 members of the academy's first graduation class this year are either destined for collegiate baseball careers or are beginning their professional careers.  This includes 12 young men who would have dropped out of school if not for this academy.  All 12 graduated this past June with scholarships to universities in the United States.
Carlos and Jessica have truly committed themselves to the success of the Carlos Beltran Academy by personally contributing more than $4 million and hosting fundraising events throughout the year to maintain the academy as a first‑rate institution.
Carlos in 2013, you helped put your team on the path to the greatest level of success in baseball, playing in a World Series.  And through your academy, you're helping to put young men on the path to success in life.  I truly believe that Roberto Clemente would be enormously proud of you of everything you're doing not only for the community of St. Louis, but your home country of Puerto Rico.
On behalf of everyone at Major League Baseball, congratulations on being named the winner of the 2013 Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet, and thank you for everything you've done.  You've made baseball very proud.  (Applause.)
CARLOS BELTRAN:  Well, first of all, I have to thank God for this beautiful day and the opportunity of being here and being the recipient of this great award, that has nothing to do with the way you perform on the field; actually has something to do with what you do off the field, the impact that as a human being we have been blessed to play the game of baseball.
And in my life, I come from a humble family, a family that we fought together to get where we are right now.  And I decided to use all the blessings that God have given me through baseball to help other families that cannot work like me, that have the necessity to continue to develop themselves.  And that's why I decide to build the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy back home in Puerto Rico.  Because first of all, baseball, it was kind of declining.  And the second thing, I felt by me building something, it was going to impact a lot of kids back home in Puerto Rico.
And at the same time not only in baseball, but the most important thing for me was academics.  Having the opportunity to educate kids.  Through baseball you can have education.  And at the same time the game of baseball is a game that comes and go, but education is something that stays with you for the rest of your life.
And for me, like I say, I feel very honored, very blessed to have ‑‑ being able to be the recipient of this award, because when I think about Roberto, I think about ‑‑ never got the chance to watch him play or anything like that ‑‑ but there are lots of highlights out there, and by me watching him, I always, when I was a kid, I always wanted to be like him in one way, meaning having the opportunity to play baseball, having the opportunity to give back.
And he has been a good role model for all Puerto Rican players, but not only Puerto Rican players, he is a guy that impacted baseball worldwide, by the way he played the game, by also how good he was outside the baseball lines, giving back to the community and giving back to the people.
As I say I'm feeling very honored and thank you, Vera, for being here.  This really means a lot for me, personally, but I know for my country back home, Puerto Rico, this is going to be something that's going to be special.  As a country right now we are going through tough moments, and I think this news are going to help the country to continue to move forward.  So thank you very much, guys, for being here (applause).
GREG AMSINGER:  Thank you Carlos.  Thank you, Commissioner.
We have time for a couple of questions.  If anyone has a question, if we can keep the questions to the Roberto Clemente Award, that would be great.

Q.  Of all the things that have happened to you in your baseball career, where does this award rank?
CARLOS BELTRAN:¬†¬† Number first.¬† I think being able to play this game and being able to win awards playing the game of baseball, this is something that a lot of people ‑‑ we have to do it.¬† Playing the game of baseball, we have to do it.¬† But giving back, not everyone chooses to do that.¬† And that's something that I take a lot of pride.¬† I take a lot of pride not only playing the game of baseball, but I also take a lot of pride giving back, because I know when you give back, doors are going to be opened for you in your life.

Q.  I was wondering how important do you think it is for kids to start giving back to their communities at an early age?
CARLOS BELTRAN:¬†¬† Well, you know what, I believe for me when I made the decision of doing the things that I'm doing, before I have the academy, I have done a lot of things when I played with the Mets.¬† And every city I have played, I try to give back.¬† I think it's important.¬† Giving back doesn't have to mean that you have to give money; time also, being able to take out of your time to visit people that are sick in hospitals.¬† So there's different ways to give back, not only necessarily have to be with money‑wise.

Q.  (Question in Spanish).
CARLOS BELTRAN:  (Answer in Spanish).
GREG AMSINGER:     Thank you all for coming.  Once again, congratulations to Carlos Beltran, recipient of the 2013 Roberto Clemente Award (applause). 

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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