CHICAGO -- Outfielder David DeJesus was named the Cubs' nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award mainly because of his wife, Kimberly.
A high school friend of Kimberly DeJesus was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease), which motivated the couple to raise money and awareness. In July, the DeJesus' combined to lead a drive for ALS Day at Wrigley Field, and raised more than $28,000 for the ALS Association, Greater Chicago Chapter.
Their efforts earned David the nominee for the award, established by Major League Baseball to honor Clemente's legacy and to officially recognize local club nominees. The annual award recognizes a MLB player who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement. The award is named for the 15-time MLB All-Star and Hall of Famer who died in a plane crash on New Year's Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
DeJesus also has been supportive of Chicago Cubs charities, especially the Cubs' RBI program (Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities).
He was active with teammates Ryan Dempster and Kerry Wood and their respective foundations this year, and also helped his former teammate Zack Greinke buy toothpaste, hand towels, combs, shampoo and other everyday items to send to victims of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti as part of Heart to Heart International.
DeJesus has participated as a spokesperson for Guadalupe Centers Inc., an organization that aims to improve the lives of Latinos in the Kansas City community.