During the 2022 offseason the Baltimore Orioles signed veteran starter Kyle Gibson to be a leader in the club house to a very young team. Gibson is playing for his fourth different team in his 11th big league season, also has post season experience including an appearance in last season's World Series with the Philadelphia Phillies.
While his numbers this season are not spectacular, he has been everything the team has asked for. Gibson is tied for the American League lead with 14 wins and leads the Orioles in innings pitched. We have all seen his playful demeanor in the dugout during games and he has truly taken a leadership role in his first season with the Birds, but his biggest impact might be off the field.
For the third time in his career, Kyle Gibson has been named his team's nominee for the Roberto Clemente award. Gibson was also the Minnesota Twins nominee in 2019 and the Philadelphia Phillies nominee in 2022. Clearly, Gibson has made significant contributions to the communities that he has been a part of, and Baltimore is lucky to have him.
Orioles starter Kyle Gibson selected as team's Roberto Clemente award nominee
Per MLB.com "The Roberto Clemente Award is bestowed annually to the player who best represents the game of Baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field." Roberto Clemente was one of the greatest right fielders in the history of baseball.
He was also one of the game's greatest humanitarians. Sadly, he died in a plane crash after the 1972 season where he was going to deliver aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. Major League baseball decided to rename the Commissioner's award, that had started in 1971, after Clemente starting in 1973.
Gibson is involved with numerous charities to include throughout the country and is the vice president of Big League Impact, a charitable organization founded by St Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright. Gibson has hosted numerous events in all of the cities he has played in and used digital fundraisers. All told, Gibson has raised nearly $500,000 in for the cities that he has played in.
On top of all of the time he spends with these charities, Gibson has pledged to donate $100 for each strikeout that he records this season. He currently has 140 strikeouts on the season and should have four starts remaining. Gibson has also recruited several of his teammates to help with the charities. Over half the team attended an event earlier this season that raised over $36,000 for City of Refuge Baltimore.
He also recruited Tyler Wells, Austin Hays and Cedric Mullins to assist with a season long fund raiser. Gibson, Hays, Wells and Mullins pledged to donate a total of $425 for every team win this season to charity. Each of the four players will get a fourth of the total to donate to a charity of their choice. With the Birds already at 91 wins and on pace to go over 100 wins this season, that adds up to a big win for a lot of people in need.
While charity is its own reward and Gibson does these things because he is a good person, I'm sure he would be thrilled to receive the Roberto Clemente award. He would be the fifth Oriole to win the award and the first since Eric Davis in 1997. Other Oriole winners include Cal Ripken Jr (1992), Ken Singleton (1982) and Brooks Robinson (1972 in the second and final year it was the commissioner's award).
Here is the full list of Roberto Clemente Award nominee's where you can read about each teams selected player and vote for who you believe deserves it the most.