Thursday afternoon saw Major League Baseball announce the nominee from each team for the 2020 Roberto Clemente Award. For the Cincinnati Reds, they have nominated catcher Tucker Barnhart. Major League Baseball describes the award as follows:
The Roberto Clemente Award is bestowed annually to the player who best represents the game of Baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.
When spring training shut down and everyone went back to their homes, it was Tucker and his wife Sierra who decided that they would do something nice, do something to give back, do something to help out those who were less fortunate and perhaps in need. Once a week they would choose a local restaurant and purchase a $500 gift card to pay for as many meals as it could buy that day for anyone who came in. Here’s what MLB.com has in their write up about Barnhart’s nomination:
Once Spring Training was shut down, Tucker returned home to Zionsville, Ind. where he heard local radio personality Dan Dakich say he was going to get takeout for dinner to help support local business. Tucker loved the idea and it led to the creation of “Takeout Thursday.”
That same day, Tucker purchased a $500 gift card to various local restaurants and put the word out on social media for people to go to these locations and get a meal, up to $25, on his dime. The effort continued, with a couple of Takeout Thursdays that included a local restaurant, Frisch’s, matching his donation every week, which was followed up by a Cincinnati location.
Tucker also pitched the idea for a sandlot game as a fun way to mimic a sense of normalcy. After some discussion, he decided to put the invite on social media and ask attendees for a $5 donation. The event raised about $2,000 for Indianapolis Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) to go toward uniforms, equipment, league and tournament fees or any other needs.
Not lost on Tucker through the pandemic has been the fight for social justice and racial equality. He has been vocal on social media in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
You can vote for Tucker Barnhart (or anyone else among the 30 players that were nominated) at this link, if that’s the kind of thing that you are into.