Millwood is Rangers' Clemente nominee
Right-hander involved with several causes in local area
ARLINGTON -- Rangers pitcher Kevin Millwood isn't afraid to donate a little sweat and toil when it comes to helping out in the community.His strong arm not only can throw a baseball 90 mph, but it can also wield a hammer as well. He was doing just that when he went up on a roof to help finish a Habitat for Humanity house last offseason.
"I can drive a nail," Millwood said. "Helping put a roof on a house was pretty cool. I was up there with some volunteers, including some firefighters. It was awesome."Of his many community endeavors, Millwood considers working on the Habitat for Humanity home to be his favorite. "Going out there and working on the house and spending time with the family that was moving into it, that was a lot of fun," Millwood said. That kind of attitude is one of the reasons why Millwood is the Rangers' 2008 nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, presented by Chevrolet. "I never really thought much about that," Millwood said. "I'm not out trying to win any awards. But I know a lot of guys here do a lot in the community, so to be up for it is an honor." The award recognizes the player who best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual's contribution to his team. It is named in honor of the former Pirates outfielder. Clemente died in a plane crash while attempting to transport relief supplies to earthquake-stricken Nicaragua on Dec. 31, 1972. Fans can participate in the selection process of the overall winner of the award now through Oct. 5. The fan ballot winner will be tallied as one vote among those cast by a special selection panel of baseball dignitaries and media members. The panel includes MLB Commissioner Bud Selig and Vera Clemente, widow of the Pirates' Hall of Fame right fielder whose spirit and goodwill always will be remembered. The winner will be announced during the World Series.
Millwood is in his third year with the Rangers and has had an exceptional impact in the club's Foundation and community efforts. His financial commitments have been significant, but so has his personal efforts in attending club initiatives that include hospital visits, serving dinner at homeless shelters and participating in Christmas toy drives."I just like the feeling of giving back and helping people who can't help themselves," Millwood said. "I know I grew up without a lot, and to be able to help somebody that doesn't have much makes you feel good." Through the Foundation, he underwrites the Arlington Police Athletic League, allowing the funding for the Police Department to host a four week camp to help change the direction for many youngsters who do not have a strong support system at home. In addition to underwriting of one of the Habitat for Humanity houses the Rangers built, he is making a substantial donation to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Arlington in the 2008 building campaign. Last season, he made a substantial contribution to the Mike Coolbaugh Memorial Fund.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.