Former Gonzaga Bulldogs pitcher Marco Gonzales, now with the Seattle Mariners, was recently named the team’s nominee for the MLB’s 2022 Roberto Clemente Award.
Per the news release, the Roberto Clemente Award is the annual recognition of a player from each MLB club who best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy, and positive contributions, both on and off the field.
Gonzales credited his time at Gonzaga and the importance the staff put on giving back to the Spokane community as a key factor in his decision to be so involved in the community.
“It goes back to our time at Gonzaga,” he said. “We were always taught to give back to our community as student athletes. I think since the moment we’ve got here we always try to find some way to be involved and help out beyond baseball. We believe we’ll be here beyond baseball.
“With our roots here, with her family here, with Gonzaga being so close, and all of our friends and family here, we just feel like it’s what we’re supposed to do. It’s what we’re meant to do here. We feel like we have a role in that, and we enjoy it. We love giving back and we hope to inspire others to do the same.”
Gonzales and his wife, Gonzaga graduate Monica Gonzales, recently debuted their new wine, Grace G7, to raise funds and awareness for the battle against Multiple System atrophy. That is one of many, many, many charitable endeavors Gonzales has been involved with during his five year run with the Seattle Mariners.
A few others include; partnering with Blazin’ Bagels to create a signature “Mr. & Mrs. Bulldog” breakfast sandwich to benefit the Defeat MSA Alliance, joining the Home Plate Project to help hungry kids, helping serve lunch and providing Mariners backpacks to kids in the Seattle area, launching the Gonzales Family Peanut Butter Drive to benefit Northwest Harvest, delivering meals to first responders from the Seattle Fire Department during the pandemic, and working with the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, where he served as a spokesperson for the Refuse to Abuse Campaign.
As if that wasn’t enough, a few other charities Gonzales has been involved with over the years include the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, Seattle Children’s, Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital, Kadlec Medical Center, Little League Challenger Division and Mariners Care.
Gonzales is hoping to become the fourth Mariner to win the league-wide Clemente Award, following in the footsteps of Harold Reynolds (1991) Jamie Moyer (2003) and Edgar Martinez (2004).
The league-wide winner will be selected by a panel which includes MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and Clemente’s own children, Enrique, Luis, and Roberto Jr.
Fans can vote as well, with the winner of the fan vote counting as one vote on the panel. Voting occurs at mlb.com/clemente21 until October 5.
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