Former Trojan and current New York Mets infielder T.J. Rivera has been nominated for Major League Baseball’s Roberto Clemente Award.
All 30 MLB teams nominate one player who best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.
For Rivera, the award capped off a busy season that included playing for his home Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic and making his first appearance on the Opening Day roster for the Mets in April.
Playing first base, he helped lead the Puerto Rican squad all the way to the WBC Championship, where they suffered their only loss of the tournament from Team USA.
T.J. played two seasons at Troy in 2010-2011. He was a member of the historic 2011 team that earned a top 25 ranking, a Sun Belt Championship and a trip to the NCAA Regionals in Nashville.
“T.J. Rivera’s nomination for such a prestigious award comes as no surprise to me or anyone associated with our program,” Troy head coach Mark Smartt said. “He represents everything that is good in professional sports and has done great things for his community. Needless to say, we are all proud of his accomplishments and expect him to continue doing great things in the future.”
The Roberto Clemente Award winner will be selected by a blue-ribbon panel that includes individuals connected to the game, including MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, representatives from MLB-affiliated networks and MLB Advanced Media, as well as Vera Clemente, Roberto’s wife.
Fans will be able to vote from Oct. 2-6 for the overall Roberto Clemente Award winner. The voting page will feature bios of each of the nominees and will allow fans to easily vote by clicking on the respective nominee’s name. The winner of the fan balloting will count as one vote among those cast by the blue-ribbon panel.