Former UCSB baseball pitcher Dillon Tate was nominated for the Roberto Clemente Award — one of the most prestigious awards in baseball — for extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.
Each Major League Baseball team nominates one player with exceptional service to be the recipient of the award. Tate was nominated by the Baltimore Orioles for the work he’s done in the Baltimore community.
Once each MLB team selects their recipients, a panel of dignitaries, including Commissioner Allan H. Selig, Roberto Clemente’s wife Vera Clemente and former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of John Hancock Financial Services David D’Alessandro. The panel selects the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award out of the 30 nominees through a majority vote.
Tate was nominated for his work with the Baseball Academia foundation — a youth-orientated group looking to positively influence kids through the game of baseball and provide them with mentorship and role models.
The national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award receives a trophy and a $25,000 donation in his name from John Hancock Financial Services to the charity of his choice. John Hancock also makes a $30,000 contribution in the name of the winner to Roberto Clemente Sports City in Puerto Rico.
Baseball fans can also submit their votes for who they believe should be awarded. The fan favorite receives one vote for the award in addition to the votes of the panel of dignitaries.
While at UCSB, Tate racked up 149.2 innings pitched with a career 2.26 ERA, 158 strikeouts and 47 walks. He also received numerous awards such as the All-Big West First Team, D1Baseball.com Midseason Pitcher of the Year, Golden Spikes Award Semifinalist, Louisville Slugger All-American, D1Baseball All-American and NCBWA All-American.
Tate played at UCSB for three seasons, from 2013 to 2015, before being drafted fourth overall in the MLB draft by the Texas Rangers.
After a year-long tenure with the Texas Rangers, Tate was traded to the New York Yankees and then the Baltimore Orioles. Tate made his MLB debut with the Orioles on July 29, 2019.
Coming into the league, Tate often gave back to the local Baltimore community through his presence with the youth players. According to MLB.com, growing up, Tate’s mom Lenora instilled the importance of paying it forward.
“You have to give blessings in order to receive them,” his mom, Lenora, said on MLB.com.
In 2020,Tate was riding his bike through a park in West Baltimore when he came across a group of 7- and 8-year-old children learning the basics of baseball. Inspired, Tate, who was hurt at that time, continued to go back every Thursday to work with the kids. Wanting to make a difference, Tate hoped to make a difference by educating children about baseball and being a regular role model in their lives.
Tate is now using his foundation Baseball Academia to expand on what he started in 2020.
According to MLB.com, currently, Tate hopes to educate children about setting goals and having a strong work ethic through the game of baseball.
Fan voting ends on Oct. 5, 2022 and the award presentation is to be announced.
A version of this article appeared on p. 7 of the October 13, 2022 print edition of the Daily Nexus.