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Justin Turner Named The 2022 Clemente Award Winner

The Clemente Award honors annually the 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.”

This year’s winner is Los Angeles Dodgers’ 3B, Justin Turner.  What a truly distinctive honor, and one which has been a long time coming and well deserved.  He was honored before the start of Game 3 of the World Series on the field in Philadelphia.

 

The award is determined annually via a panel, including Roberto Clemente’s sons Enrique, Luis and Roberto Jr., MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, former MLB players and Clemente Award winners, plus reporters from MLB Network, FOX Sports, ESPN, TBS and MLB.com.

There was also a fan vote that is included in the tabulation.  JT was the winner of the fan vote.  I know I contributed to that vote total.

Turner was honored for his philanthropic work in and around Los Angeles during his nine years with the Dodgers. That includes :

  1. Starting the Justin Turner Foundation with his wife Kourtney in 2016, which supports homeless veterans, children and families battling life-altering illnesses, and youth baseball organizations.
  1. The foundation holds an annual golf tournament and a 5-K run, and has supported various other events including the AM 570 Veterans Day radiothon and the LA Marathon.
  1. Justin and Kourtney Turner are on the board of trustees at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
  1. They’ve donated over 70,000 toys and 14,000 bicycles to children in and around LA.
  1. They’ve also been heavily involved in the Dream Center in Los Angeles, including having its food bank named after the Turners in 2020.
  1. JT and his wife have also been determined to help children battling deadly illnesses. They frequently visit patients at UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. This season, Turner sent over a pair of cleats so the kids in the hospital could decorate them. Turner then wore the cleats during a doubleheader on Sept. 20.

https://img.mlbstatic.com/mlb-images/image/private/ar_16:9,g_auto,q_auto:good,w_1024,c_fill,f_jpg,dpr_3.0/mlb/a8teqbxp2bg46tedgk8a

  1. As a result of Turner’s contributions to the LA area, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously declared Jan. 22, 2019, to be “Justin Turner Day.”

Upon winning the award JT had the following to say:

“I think with the way the [Dodgers’] season ended and how everything went, this award actually was probably as far away from being on [my] mind as it could get,” Turner said. “But it was quite a surprise, and obviously, very exciting news for us. Getting the ultimate achievement of getting to go out during the World Series and be recognized is something that is pretty special, and I know my wife and I are very, very proud of it.”

As should be every Dodger fan.  He further stated:

“It’s not why we do it. It’s not why we have our foundation. It’s not why we spend as much time as we can giving back to the community,” Turner said of winning the Clemente Award. “But it’s definitely nice to be recognized for that, and I think it’s also great for our foundation and our platform to get some national coverage and awareness, to hopefully help grow it and take it to the next level to be able to impact more people.”

That is what a true Clemente Award winner would say.  There are 29 other teams whose nominees also embody that sentiment.  Clayton Kershaw’s philanthropy work has not decreased since he won the award.

Of course every single team should be proud of their nominated honoree.  But we Dodgers fans are very fortunate to be able to formally recognize the 2022 winner of the prestigious Clemente Award.

Turner went on to say:

“I feel like I’ve always felt like it’s a responsibility for me to help our younger guys kind of realize their platform and how much of an impact they can have,” “Our number one goal is to help as many people as we can, but I think number two is to help our younger guys realize and grow and start their foundations, and hopefully impact as many people.”

JT is the Dodgers 3rd nominee so honored.  Steve Garvey (1989) and Clayton Kershaw (2012) were former recipients.  JT considers Kersh to be a major influence on this facet of his life.

JT was first nominated in 2017 (1st of 5 nominations), and was presented with the honor by then teammate and mentor, Curtis Granderson.  Granderson won the award in 2016, and his philanthropic exploits are outstanding.  JT’s other mentors in this facet include NYM players David Wright and Ike Davis (NYM roommate), and LAD teammate Adrián González.

 

On becoming a Dodger…

“Everything in my life feels like it has really taken off since the day I put the Dodger uniform on,” Turner said. “Obviously it’s very special to me, growing up in Southern California, getting to wear that jersey, and getting to be a part of an organization that has so much history and as so many people who have impacted the game in so many different ways. I’m just trying to do my little part.”

The Dodgers have a decision to make on the future of JT with the Dodgers for 2023.  Do the Dodgers exercise their team option at $16MM, or do they buy him out and restructure a new deal to make JT a Dodger for life (player, coach, manager)?

“That’s something that will always be a part of Kourt and I’s DNA. Obviously we don’t know what it will look like when eventually I am done playing, and how events will come together and what’s going to happen on that front,” Turner said. “But I think it’s something we will always continue and always be giving back and trying to help people.”

Congratulations JT and Kourtney.  You make Los Angeles proud.

 

 

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Badger

“or do they buy him out and restructure a new deal to make JT a Dodger for life (player, coach, manager)?”

Yep.

Justin might have another year as a part time player. He and Muncy can split DH, and with Vargas hidden in left field they can split days at third base. Or Edwin Rios can split time at third with Turner. Or Rios and Vargas can split time. Or we can get Kiké back and he can split a banana. Or they can trade Vargas and Rios, along with a young starter, Pepiot or Miller for Reynolds and Bednar. or….

Congratulations to Turner for the Clemente Award. This award goes back to ‘71. How many teams/cities have never had a winner? What team/city has had the most winners? Has a Florida team/city ever won?

Last edited 1 month ago by Badger
Bumsrap

I liked that JT mentioned Kershaw as his mentor for giving back and that JT wants to do that for younger Dodgers as well. Well deserved.

I like the idea of an Utley contract for JT.

We got up early this morning so we could get to the airport and catch our flight to Hawaii. I checked my emails around 6:30 and saw an email that came in at 3:53 A.M. from Hawaiian Airlines. It said our flight was cancelled. They didn’t have another flight available prior to Friday. Really? Happy wife, happy life. My wife ain’t happy.

Bumsrap

Yes. We had to scramble to cancel luau and hotel and taxi and prepaid luggage reservations. And, it’s cool and wet in Washington all this week. Thanks for your empathy Jeff.

Singing the Blue

Sorry to hear about your vacation plans, Fred. What a bummer. Hopefully you’ll be able to re-schedule soon.
And next time, take the train.

Singing the Blue

Sale was going to opt out, but he decided to follow Arenado’s lead.  😂 

Bumsrap

Maybe he asked his wife for advice as well.

Singing the Blue

How ironic.
The Y. Alvarez nobody ever heard of becomes a star and the “huge prospect” Y. Alvarez turns into nothing.
That’s baseball.

Bumsrap

I really wanted Yoán Moncada, he of lightning speed and one good year. The Dodgers passed on Moncada so they could sign Yadier Alvarez. I guess the Dodgers and I were both wrong.

Bluto

Alvarez, Yordan is having a rough Series.
He’s also maybe best as a DH.

That said, I wish the Dodgers still had him and that bat.

Bumsrap

Which prospect looks best just by looking at their scouting grades:

Scouting grades: Hit: 60 | Power: 55 | Run: 40 | Arm: 55 | Field: 45 | Overall: 55 

Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 55 | Run: 45 | Arm: 45 | Field: 45 | Overall: 55

Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 55 | Run: 60 | Arm: 55 | Field: 50 | Overall: 55

Singing the Blue

I must chastise you, Jeff.
First you get Fred all hot and bothered about Gelof.
He decides to trade both Vargas and Busch for him, and then you inform him that Gelof isn’t as good as either one of them let alone both.
Which is basically what I told him when he brought up the trade, but he doesn’t like to listen to me because I once insulted Joc.  😂 

Well, we need something to talk about while the Phils and Astros battle each other, so this conversation helps with that.

Bumsrap

Exactly
Although I don’t remember you insulting Joc directly. You have however said you prefer your cousin for LF.

Gelof is just my trade du jour but I like having speed at third that also has some pop. That said, I think Gelof if groomed for 3rd, would become a fixture there.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bumsrap
Oldbear48

Well deserved. JT is one of the best in his endeavors for those less fortunate. I bring him back at a lower number. He is a Dodger icon, but his everyday status is past.

Singing the Blue

“His everyday status is past”. Why?

His 8 year Dodger career average games played (omitting 2020) is 129. Last year he played in 128 games.

His 8 year average plate appearances (omitting 2020) is 506. Last year he had 532 plate appearances.

For the months of Jul-Sept this year he was one of the very best hitters in all of MLB.

If it weren’t for the fact that he’ll be 38 next year, nobody would be talking like this. They would just say he had a bad first half of the season.

He had a 1.9 bWAR this year which, by the normal standards of measurement these days is worth just about 16 million dollars in salary.

Since it’s campagin season: JT For ’23 !!!

Badger

He never was an every day player. And he’s 38 next year. His defense is less than, but he could probably help some offensively. I have no idea what the plan for him is, but we may not have a better option. Would like to be in on management discussions on Rios.

We are going to miss Trea’s speed. Would be difficult if not impossible to replace it.

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