Aaron Judge’s surprise: Yankees star thought he was getting traded when he got Roberto Clemente Award call

Yankees star Aaron Judge holding a trophy

Last Updated on October 31, 2023 at 6:02 pm by Amanda Cunha

When Aaron Judge received the call announcing him as the winner of the 2023 Roberto Clemente Award, the New York Yankees player was taken aback and believed something entirely different was about to happen. This prestigious award, considered by MLB as “the most important individual award,” is given not only for on-field performance but also for a player’s character and humanitarian efforts, making it particularly significant.

What did Aaron Judge say?

The news came to Aaron Judge before Game 3 of the World Series, where the Arizona Diamondbacks faced the Texas Rangers at Chase Field. He was at his home in California, working out with his wife when he received a call from his public relations team, who informed him that they had something “extremely important” to tell him. Uncertainty swept over him, and his mind began to wander about the possibility of a team trade.

Judge recounted this emotional moment in a press conference: “We got a call from my agent; he says, ‘Do you have a minute? This is very important.’ And I asked, ‘Have I been traded? What’s going on?’ Something that is very important. He asked me, ‘Can you sit down for a moment?’ I said, ‘Yes, tell me what you’ve got.’ He said, ‘You’ve just won the Roberto Clemente Award.’ I was left speechless.” Surprise and emotion were evident in his words.

The Roberto Clemente Award

The Roberto Clemente Award is not awarded solely for success in baseball but for the humanitarian and charitable efforts players undertake off the field. Aaron Judge was honored for his significant contributions through his ‘All Rise’ foundation. This organization has positively impacted over 2,000 young people from challenging environments in California and the Bronx. The programs implemented by ‘All Rise’ aim to shape these young individuals into “role model citizens,” providing them with opportunities and support they might not have had otherwise.

The Roberto Clemente Award, established in 1971 and originally known as the “Commissioner’s Award,” was renamed in honor of the legendary Puerto Rican Pirates player, Roberto Clemente, who stood out as an exemplar of altruism and aiding the needy among MLB players. Clemente has become the “gold standard” for humanitarian efforts by baseball players.

Aaron Judge’s work through his ‘All Rise’ foundation exemplifies the kind of dedication and impact that the Roberto Clemente Award celebrates. It is a reminder that community commitment and altruism are qualities that transcend sports and deserve special recognition.

Judge’s journey to receiving the Roberto Clemente Award speaks to his dedication to making a positive difference beyond the baseball diamond. ‘All Rise’ is not merely a foundation in name but a reflection of Judge’s commitment to helping young people rise above adversity and become positive contributors to society. Through this foundation, Judge has invested in the future, providing young individuals with the tools and opportunities to succeed.

The impact of the ‘All Rise’ foundation extends not only to California but also to the Bronx, where many young people face economic and social challenges. By creating programs that focus on education, character development, and mentorship, Judge is shaping these youths into responsible and compassionate citizens. The lessons they learn through ‘All Rise’ go beyond baseball, instilling values and skills that will serve them well throughout their lives.

In a world where professional athletes are often in the spotlight for their on-field achievements, Aaron Judge’s commitment to community service and the well-being of young people sets a powerful example. He has used his platform as a New York Yankees player to create lasting change, emphasizing that baseball can be a vehicle for positive transformation in the lives of others.

The Roberto Clemente Award is a fitting tribute to Judge’s dedication, recognizing not only his individual accomplishments but also the larger impact he is making in the community. The fact that he thought he was about to be traded when he received the call speaks to his humility and the surprising nature of such a prestigious honor.

Aaron Judge’s receipt of the Roberto Clemente Award for 2023 is not only a testament to his character and humanitarian efforts but also a reminder that the spirit of giving back is alive and well in the world of sports. Judge’s work through the ‘All Rise’ foundation serves as an inspiration to young athletes and aspiring community leaders, showing that excellence both on and off the field is attainable. His recognition with the Roberto Clemente Award highlights the positive impact that sports figures can have on their communities and the world at large, serving as role models for us all.

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