The annual Award recognizes a Major League Baseball player who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement. The Award pays tribute to Clemente's achievements and character by recognizing current players who truly understand the value of helping others. It is named for 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.
Carlos and Jessica Beltran founded the Carlos Beltran Foundation with the mission of empowering young people to achieve their dreams through sports and education. The Foundation strives to provide a dynamic learning experience where young people can develop and enhance their athletic gifts and excel academically.
As part of the Foundation's efforts, the Beltrans opened the "Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy" (CBBA) in Puerto Rico, which was created to develop talented young athletes while offering a first-rate education in a specialized training program that teaches students to approach their academic career with discipline. Beltran, who has personally given more than $4 million toward the Academy, created the CBBA as a means of giving others the opportunities that he did not have as a teenager in Puerto Rico.
Since joining the Cardinals in 2012, Beltran has made an impact, on and off the field, entrenching himself and his family in the local community. He has committed his time and donations to various initiatives and groups throughout St. Louis, including: "Baskets of Hope" with the Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital; his "Beltran's Buddies" program for which he provides game tickets and meets with underprivileged kids through the Latino Outreach Group; and the "Carlos Beltran Scholarship Award" program with the Hispanic Arts Council that offers eight $2,500 scholarships.
Beltran is the fourth member of the Cardinals to receive the Roberto Clemente Award, joining Albert Pujols (2008) and Hall of Famers Lou Brock (1975) and Ozzie Smith (1995).