PHOENIX — New York Yankees star Aaron Judge won Major League Baseball’s Roberto Clemente Award for character, community involvement, and philanthropy on Monday.
The former Fresno State standout was to be presented the award before Game 3 of the World Series. He is the fourth Yankees player to receive the honor after Ron Guidry (1984), Don Baylor (1985), and Derek Jeter (2009).
We are proud to announce that Aaron Judge is the winner of the 2023 Roberto Clemente Award, baseball’s most prestigious individual honor. pic.twitter.com/M5UfYCr4Gl
— MLB (@MLB) October 30, 2023
The All Rise Foundation
A five-time All-Star and the 2022 American League MVP, Judge established his All Rise Foundation in 2018. It supports youth in New York and in California’s Fresno and San Joaquin counties, near his hometown of Linden.
His foundation hosted baseball camps in both states and has awarded grants supporting Bridge2College, NYC Autism Charter Schools, Tourette Association of America, the Edward C. Merlo Institute of Environmental Technology, the Resiliency Center of Fresno, and the Birch Family Services. The foundation supported students to attend California leadership conferences.
He also is a leading advocate for blood donations, cutting several commercials for the Central California Blood Bank.
Judge partnered with initiatives to encourage positive social media behavior and to recognize healthcare workers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Clemente, a Hall of Fame outfielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates, died in a plane crash on Dec. 31, 1972, while delivering aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
“The charity work he did, how he touched every single fan, especially the young kids — that’s who you want to be,” Judge said. “That’s a big leaguer, that’s a professional.”
Now 31, Judge hit an AL-record 62 home runs in 2022, breaking the mark Roger Maris had held since 1961. He tied for the big league lead with 131 RBIs and hit .311.
Judge batted .267 with 37 homers and 75 RBIs in 106 games this year, missing extensive time because of a toe injury sustained while crashing into the Dodger Stadium fence in June.
He just finished the first season of a $360 million, nine-year contract with the Yankees, who finished 82-80 and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
Judge has been honored as the Rookie of the Year (2017), 3x Silver Slugger (2017, 2021, 2022), Hank Aaron Award recipient (2022), and AL MVP (2022).
Judge at Fresno State
Judge spent three seasons with the Bulldogs from 2011 to 2013 before being drafted in the first round of the 2013 MLB Draft by the Yankees. He was a three-time first-team all-conference selection.
While with the Yankees, Judge has been honored as the Rookie of the Year (2017), 3x Silver Slugger (2017, 2021, 2022), Hank Aaron Award recipient (2022), and AL MVP (2022).
Judge was named a Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American in 2011, as well as WAC Freshman of the Year as the starting center fielder. In 2012, Judge won the TD Ameritrade College Baseball Home Run Derby. He batted .345 with 18 home runs and 109 RBI in 169 games as a Bulldog.
Bulldog Jersey Retirement Ceremony Ahead
Judge and coach Mike Batesole will be honored with a jersey retirement celebration during halftime of the home Fresno State football game on Nov. 18 against New Mexico, followed by a formal jersey retirement ceremony Sunday, Nov. 19, at 1 p.m. at Bob Bennett Stadium.
(GV Wire contributed to this article.)