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ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright has won the Roberto Clemente Award.

“This is the greatest honor of my entire career and when I lay my head down to the rest a final time it will be the greatest honor I have achieved in my entire life,” said Wainwright.

It’s the fifth time the pitcher has been nominated for the award and the first time he won.

Wainwright is also the sixth Cardinals player to win the award, the most by any MLB club. He joins Lou Brock, Ozzie Smith, Albert Pujols, Carlos Beltran, and Yadier Molina in the honor.

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 on and off the field.

Wainwright’s philanthropic work includes his contribution to Big League Impact, a charity he founded in 2013. Here are some of the highlights of his work:

  • Constructed Haiti’s Ferrier Village Secondary School, which opened for the 2019-2020 school year. Also partnered with Water Mission to build a clean water system for the community.
  • In Honduras, BLI funded the construction of a clean water system servicing more than 15,000 people. 
  • In Ethiopia, his mission trip there led to the purchase of an 11-acre plot that is now the site of a clinic and a dairy and crop farm. Adam also partnered with Crisis Aid International to feed children in Africa who would have died of starvation, and also provided aid to help give victims of sex trafficking a new opportunity at life. 
  • BLI’s relationship with Crisis Aid provides weekly meals for 3,000 families in the greatest need, including a local campaign that helps feed 200 families per year in South St. Louis.
  • In 2019, Big League Impact partnered with the Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids Foundation to launch the MLB- and Club-backed “Home Plate Project” to address family and childhood food insecurity.  To date, the effort has provided nearly 8 million meals across the United States and Canada, including 4 million meals during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • More than 150 Major League players have worked with Big League Impact to bring their charitable aspirations to life, with appx. $5.8 million donated to 94 charities.

His teammate, Albert Pujols, congratulated Wainwright for the achievement on twitter.