Major League Baseball today announced right-handed pitcher Jon Gray has been named the Texas Rangers 2023 nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Capital One, baseball’s most prestigious individual honor for Major League players.
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.
Gray will be recognized as the Rangers 2023 Robert Clemente Award nominee in a pregame ceremony on Monday, September 18 when Texas hosts the Boston Red Sox at 7:05 p.m.
Gray, 31, joined the Rangers in 2022 and has been a stalwart in the starting rotation while having a tremendous impact throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth community.
In 25 starts in 2023, Gray is 8-7 with a 3.85 ERA and 128 strikeouts. The right-hander has allowed three or fewer runs in 16 of his 25 starts and notched his 1,000th career strikeout on April 26 at Cincinnati. Over a span of six starts from May 8-June 7, Gray went 5-1 with a 0.84 ERA (4 ER/43.0 IP), with his only loss coming in a 12-strikeout complete game in a 1-0 Rangers defeat on June 7 vs. St. Louis. From May 8-20, Gray had a span of 17.0 consecutive scoreless innings, the longest scoreless stretch of his career. He began a start on May 13 at Oakland with 6.2 hitless innings, the longest no-hit bid by a Texas starter in over five years.
In 2022, Gray formed the #MissionGrayWolf22 program, hosting military groups at three Texas Rangers home games. The invitations included the opportunity for 28 service men and women and their spouses to attend a game as Jon’s guests. The military members and their spouses were treated to complimentary parking, premium seats with a $25 cash value for food and beverage on each ticket, and an exclusive meet and greet with Jon that included a Q&A session, autographs, and a group photo. Gray hosted groups from the Airman and Family Readiness Center at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base, Dyess Air Force Base, and Sheppard Air Force Base.
A successful initiative in 2022, Gray renewed the program in 2023 and made it exponentially larger by hosting 12 #MissionGrayWolf22 nights. The military members and their spouses receive the same perks as last season and also receive a custom “MissionGrayWolf22” cap as a special gift. Groups hosted so far in 2023 include the 301st Fighter Wing, Adaptive Training Foundation, Dyess Air Force Base, Folds of Honor, Fort Hood Military Base, Fort Sill Air Force Base, Gold Star Moms, Goodwill Vets, Merging Vets and Players, Sheppard Air Force Base, Vance Air Force Base, and the USO.
In addition to the #MissionGrayWolf22 program, Gray donates $500 for each of his wins to the Adaptive Training Foundation, a Carrolton, Texas based 503(c)(3) program that serves wounded and injured military veterans, first responders, and disabled community members. He also donates $100 per strikeout to The Pawerful Rescue, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit animal rescue. Jon and his wife, Jacklyn, spearheaded the 2023-24 Texas Rangers Pet Calendar with proceeds benefiting The Pawerful Rescue.
The Gray Family also hosts The Birthday Party Project during four Texas Rangers home games. The Birthday Party Project’s mission is to bring joy to children experiencing homelessness through the magic of a birthday celebration. Courtesy of the Grays, The Birthday Party Project groups receive suite tickets, complimentary parking, goody bags, and autographs.
In December of 2022, Jon and Jacklyn hosted the Texas Rangers Toy Drive and raised over 900 toys to benefit Mission Arlington/Mission Metroplex, which has helped over 16,000 families provide toys for their families.
Gray was also recently named the Texas Rangers 2023 Lou Gehrig and Bob Feller Act of Valor nominee and is on the Board of the Taylor Hooten Foundation.
“We are incredibly proud of Jon Gray’s nomination for the prestigious 2023 Roberto Clemente Award,” said Neil Leibman, Texas Rangers President of Business Operations and Chief Operating Officer and Chairman of the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation. “On behalf of the Texas Rangers organization, I commend Jon for his commitment to the organization and the Dallas-Fort Worth community. Since becoming a member of the Rangers prior to the 2022 season, Jon’s success on the field coupled with his countless endeavors in the community embodies the spirit of the Roberto Clemente Award. We are thankful for his contributions and laud him for his efforts.”
Friday, September 15 marks the 22nd annual Roberto Clemente Day presented by Capital One, which was established by Major League Baseball to honor Clemente’s legacy as a humanitarian and to formally acknowledge Club nominees of the Roberto Clemente Award. As part of the league-wide celebration, the Roberto Clemente Day logo will appear on the bases and official dugout lineup cards and a customized tribute video to Roberto will be shown in all MLB ballparks on Roberto Clemente Day as well as on MLB Network, MLB.com, Club sites and MLB Social Media Platforms.