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Mike Trout nominated for Roberto Clemente Award

“I’m here to play this game, but I’m also here to give back,” Trout said.

Los Angeles Angels v San Francisco Giants Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Mike Trout is the Angels nominee for the 2020 Roberto Clemente Award, the annual honor recognizing major league players for philanthropic and humanitarian contributions.

Every team has one nominee, with the MLB winner announced after the season. The winner will be chosen by a committee including Clemente’s children, commissioner Rob Manfred, and representatives from MLB Network, ESPN, Fox Sports, TBS, and MLB.com. In addition, the fan vote will be considered for the award, with fans able to vote online through Sept. 27, the final day of the regular season.

Trout was recognized for his work with children through Mike-a-Wish, his donations to workers on the frontlines fighting COVID-19 and public service announcements encouraging folks to stay at home during the pandemic.

“I think when I first came up, my main focus was obviously playing the game. But I sat back and talked about it with my wife. You know, I’m here to play this game, but I’m also here to give back,” Trout said Thursday on a conference call. “If you can make an impact on other people’s lives and just have that impact, it’s really huge.”

Trout and his wife Jessica have worked to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention with a “Your Game Isn’t Over Yet” campaign in honor of Jessica’s brother and former Angels minor leaguer Aaron Cox, who died in 2018.

“It hits close, with Aaron passing. Mental health is real,” Trout said. “Especially during this pandemic, a lot of people are going through it. It’s a struggle. Just raising awareness that everybody has a purpose on this Earth and can make an impact. Every little thing that Jess and I, or anybody else, can do to make an impact, it’s big for us.”

This is the first Clemente Award nomination for Trout. He, and the other 29 nominees, will be recognized next Wednesday, Roberto Clemente Day throughout MLB.

“He’s doing that because it’s the right thing to do,” manager Joe Maddon said of Trout. “It’s a perfect example of who he is. It’s a value choice on his part, and something that’s near and dear to his heart. I think that’s awesome.”