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October 2020
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Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart is team’s 2020 Roberto Clemente Award nominee

Tucker Barnhart guarding plate 2017 photo By Hayden Schiff from Cincinnati, USA, CC BY 2.0, https

Major League Baseball announced earlier this month that catcher Tucker Barnhart was named the Cincinnati Reds 2020 nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, baseball’s most prestigious individual honor for Major Leaguers.

The Roberto Clemente Award is the annual recognition of a Major League player who best represents the game of Baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.

As part of the annual program, each MLB Club nominates one player to be considered for the league-wide Award in tribute to Clemente’s achievements and character. Wednesday, September 9th marks the 19th annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball to honor Clemente’s legacy as a humanitarian and to officially acknowledge local Club nominees of the Roberto Clemente Award. As part of the league-wide celebration, the Roberto Clemente Day logo will appear on the bases and official dugout lineup cards and a special tribute video will be played in ballparks.

Tucker is one of the 30 Club nominees for the annual award.

In addition to being one of the game’s premier defensive catchers and a respected presence in the Reds clubhouse for the past five years, Tucker has always been a selfless leader and charitable giver in the community. This year, these off-field qualities have been brought to the forefront.

As COVID-19 spread its way across the U.S and families and restaurants taking a huge hit, Americans were looking for assistance and Barnhart was ready to step up.

Upon returning to his home in Zionsville, Indiana, Tucker heard a local radio personality say he was going to get takeout for dinner to help support local business. Barnhart loved the idea and wasted no time figuring out what more he could do. Thus, Takeout Thursday was born.

Tucker purchased $500 gift cards to local restaurants in Zionsville and Cincinnati and put that word out on social media for people to go to these locations and get a meal, up to $25, on his dime. A couple of Takeout Thursdays included Cincinnati-based Frisch’s, and the restaurant matched Barnhart’s donation every week that a local location was featured.

As organically as Takeout Thursdays originated, so did another Barnhart charitable effort. He helped organize a sandlot game in Westfield, Indiana that raised about $2,000 for Indianapolis RBI.

Not lost on Barnhart through the pandemic has been the fight for social justice and racial equality. He has been vocal on social media in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and has engaged his teammates and organized a team-wide call surrounding these issues.

The league-wide winner of the Roberto Clemente Award will be selected via a blue ribbon panel, including Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr., representatives from MLB-affiliated networks (MLB Network, FOX Sports, ESPN and TBS),, as well as Roberto’s children, Enrique, Luis and Roberto Clemente, Jr. Beginning today, fans can vote for the Roberto Clemente Award via The site will feature bios of each of the nominees and will allow fans to vote until the end of the season on Sunday, September 27th. The winner of the fan vote will count as one vote among those cast by the blue ribbon panel.

The concept of honoring Major League players for their philanthropic work was created in 1971 as the “Commissioner’s Award.” The recognition was renamed to the “Roberto Clemente Award” in 1973 in honor of the Hall of Famer and 15-time All-Star who died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.

Read more: Cincinnati Reds


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