PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Pirates have nominated pitcher Trevor Williams for the 2019 Robert Clemente Award.
The Roberto Clemente Award recognizes and MLB player that represents the game best through “extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy, and positive contributions on and off the field.”
Williams is one of 30 nominees, as each team names a nominee on September 18 – which has been designated by the MLB as Roberto Clemente Day. September 18, 2019, is the 18th annual Roberto Clemente Day.
The nomination was given to Williams specifically for his “Project 34” nonprofit organization that helps people living with spinal cord injuries. Williams founded the organization with his friend Cory Hahn with the goal of raising money to help those living with spinal cord injuries purchase medical equipment and assistive devices. They also provide grants to those that can’t afford physical therapy.
Williams was inspired to start the organization when Hahn suffered an in-game spinal cord injury, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down when the two were playing for Arizona State University. He then changed his jersey number to 34, the same Hahn wore in college, during his second year in the MLB.
Pirates Charities and Project 34 teamed up in 2018 when Williams hosted the first Project 34 Day at PNC Park when 35 spinal cord injury patients and their families got to spend a day at the park with Williams.
The winner of the Roberto Clemente Award will be selected by a panel that includes Clemente’s late wife Vera.
Fans can also vote for one of the nominees on the MLB’s website.
The fan vote will be counted as one vote among the panel and fans can vote from now until the end of the season on Sunday, Septemeber 29.