Major League Baseball has named Jeremy Peña as the Houston Astros 2023 nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Capital One, baseball’s most prestigious individual honor for Major Leaguers.
The Roberto Clemente Award presented by Capital One is the annual recognition of a Major League player who best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.
As part of the annual program, each MLB Club nominates one player to be considered for the league-wide Award in tribute to Clemente’s achievements and character.
PEÑA’S COMMUNITY EFFORTS
Jeremy Peña has received numerous accolades on the field, including World Series MVP and a Gold Glove Award in his rookie season. The quick rise to stardom hasn’t hindered Peña from being committed to giving back and helping the community he calls home.
Since arriving in the Major Leagues in 2022, Peña has devoted time and effort to giving back to the community and giving back to the fans. Prior to virtually every home game and before most road games, Peña signs autographs during batting practice, chats with fans and posed for photographs.
At the beginning of 2023, Peña approached the Astros Foundation to design a program for underprivileged kids. Pena and the Astros Foundation worked together to launch Peña’s Pals. Pena’s Pals celebrates kids and their development in academics, character building and making healthy choices. Every Friday home game during the 2023 season, Peña chose a school and the school picked five students based on character, grades and growth. Peña awards the participating school 20 tickets. The parents, students, and teachers arrive in time for batting practice. The five scholars and one teacher are brought down to the field for batting practice and presented with his cleats, markers, and baseballs. They’re asked to decorate the cleats that Peña will wear for that Friday’s game so everybody in the stands can see the wonderful artwork of Peña Pals. Peña also has a video that the students back at the school can watch and be inspired to increase grades, attendance and character. After Peña completes batting practice, he comes over to inspect his cleats for the day, he also takes the five students around the batting cage to meet his teammates and coaching staff. Peña also provides the Peña Pals with a Peña Pals T-Shirt and a gift certificate to eat during the game. At this point in the season, Peña sponsored eight schools and sent messages to thousand more students that are not in attendance at the ballpark. At the end of the 2023 season, Peña would have hosted 13 schools providing this once in a lifetime experience for 65 students, 195 teachers and families at Minute Maid Park and inspiration for thousands of students at the participating schools.
On June 9th, Peña spoke to a group of children at the Slugging Statistics Camp. This camp combines the children’s love of sports with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) lessons, engaging them with the power of these disciplines, providing them with leadership development and inspiring them with an ambitious vision. During his time at the camp, Peña spoke about his journey to Major Leagues along with his involvement in the Houston community.