Pirates’ Trevor Williams nominated for Roberto Clemente Award
Pitching means almost everything to Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Trevor Williams, but his work off the mound is equally important to him.
Williams, who has been a regular in the Pirates’ starting rotation for the past three seasons, is the team’s nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, given annually to the Major League player who best represents the game through character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, on and off the field.
Williams is one of 30 nominees, one from each team.
He will be honored before the game Wednesday at PNC Park as part of the MLB-wide celebration of the 18th annual Clemente Day.
Williams, 27, and close friend and former Arizona State teammate Cory Hahn started Project 34, a nonprofit, to raise money and awareness for those among the 285,000 people in the U.S. who have suffered a spinal cord injury.
While at Arizona State, Hahn injured his spinal cord in a game, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. Williams wears uniform No. 34, Hahn’s number in college, in his friend’s honor.
Trevor and his wife Jackie have served as hosts at PNC Park for families impacted by similar injuries. Last year, Williams and Pirates Charities brought together 35 such families.
Williams also supports Miracle League athletes in Pittsburgh and Bradenton, Fla., and has participated in Pirates Winter CARE-a-van service projects, volunteered to spend time with families in need, and stayed after games with teammates to share his faith at the Pirates’ annual Faith Night.
The league-wide Clemente winner will be selected by a committee of Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred Jr., representatives from MLB-affiliated networks and MLB.com and Clemente’s wife, Vera.
People can vote for the overall winner on mlb.com. through the last day of the regular season Sept. 29.
Past winners include 18 members of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Two Pirates have won the award while playing in Pittsburgh — Hall of Famer Willie Stargell in 1974 and Andrew McCutchen in 2015.
In addition, the Pittsburgh chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America announced its annual winners Wednesday. The Chuck Tanner Award for the Pirates player who best cooperates with the media went to pitcher Steven Brault. First baseman Josh Bell was named the winner of the chapter’s version of the Roberto Clemente Award for team MVP.
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .