Rockies’ Kyle Freeland nominated for prestigious Roberto Clemente Award

Sep 8, 2022, 12:22 PM | Updated: 12:30 pm
Kyle Freeland...
Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Colorado native Kyle Freeland loves his homestate, and as a member of its Major League Baseball team, he’s made sure to stay connected to all things happening in his local community.

For that, Freeland was nominated for MLB’s prestigious Roberto Clemente Award on Thursday. The honor is an annual recognition of a big leaguer who best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy, and positive contributions, both on and off the field.

Each MLB Club nominates one player to be considered for the league-wide Award in tribute to Clemente’s achievements and character.

The Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente was an incredible baseball player but known just as much for his philanthropy in his home country of Puerto Rico.

“Freeland has consistently dedicated his time and efforts to make a positive impact in the community throughout the state,” the Rockies wrote in their media release. “Over the past several years, Freeland and his wife Ashley have been most prominently involved with Special Olympics Colorado, volunteering at numerous events and holding fundraising raffles to benefit Special Olympics Colorado.”

The Freelands and the Colorad0 Rockies Foundation also teamed up for a Special Olympics event this season, and Kyle will be auctioning off gear to benefit that cause. The Rockies also say the Freeland family also were huge in helping out on Rockies Charity Night.

Freeland is in his sixth season with the Rockies, drafted by the team out of college. He recently signed a contract extension which will keep him in his hometown until 2027.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Clemente tragically died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. Major League Baseball will join the Clemente family in celebrating the decades-long legacy on Roberto Clemente Day.

Players who have been nominated for the award in the past will have the option of wearing No. 21 on their uniforms on September 15th. The Rockies will honor Freeland on Monday, Sept. 19, at Coors Field before the 6:40 p.m. game against the San Francisco Giants.

Here are the league-wide nominations:

Arizona Diamondbacks – Josh Rojas*
Atlanta Braves – Tyler Matzek*
Baltimore Orioles – Dillon Tate*
Boston Red Sox – Jake Diekman*
Chicago Cubs – Jason Heyward
Chicago White Sox – Liam Hendriks
Cincinnati Reds – Joey Votto
Cleveland Guardians – Triston McKenzie*
Colorado Rockies – Kyle Freeland*
Detroit Tigers – Miguel Cabrera
Houston Astros – José Altuve
Kansas City Royals – Nicky López*
Los Angeles Angels – Jared Walsh*
Los Angeles Dodgers – Justin Turner
Miami Marlins – Pablo López*
Milwaukee Brewers – Brent Suter
Minnesota Twins – Byron Buxton*
New York Mets – James McCann*
New York Yankees – Jose Trevino
Oakland Athletics – Tony Kemp
Philadelphia Phillies – Kyle Gibson
Pittsburgh Pirates – David Bednar*
San Diego Padres – Craig Stammen*
San Francisco Giants – Brandon Crawford
Seattle Mariners – Marco Gonzales*
St. Louis Cardinals – Paul Goldschmidt
Tampa Bay Rays – Brandon Lowe*
Texas Rangers – Taylor Hearn*
Toronto Blue Jays – Bo Bichette
Washington Nationals – Josh Bell
*=First-time Nominee



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Rockies’ Kyle Freeland nominated for prestigious Roberto Clemente Award