St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright is building a case. It’s just not the Cy Young Award as most people would think due to several top-three finishes in the voting. Instead, it is for a different award: the Roberto Clemente Award. Former Cardinals teammate Carlos Beltran won the award last year.
Feb 15, 2014; Jupiter, FL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright (50) runs during spring training practice drills at Roger Dean Stadium. Image Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Because of his recovery from Tommy John surgery, Wainwright didn’t have a great year during the 2012 season. Gone were the numbers that would have given him a top 3 finish in the voting. The Georgia native rebounded during the 2013 season and finished 2nd to Clayton Kershaw as the Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher picked him his second CYA.
Fox Sports Midwest writer Stan McNeal asked Wainwright the big question about which award would mean more to him.
"He paused just briefly: “I’d take Roberto Clemente. If I ever had a chance to win that award, it would be more important than anything I’ve ever done.”"
He expanded even further:
"“The only thing you have in this world that lasts is your legacy,” he says. “I’m not saying I’d be known as a great player if I stopped playing today, but what I care more about is, ‘Did I change people’s lives for the good of humanity?’, and not just because of what I believe in. God is my driving force, but the main thing I care about is helping people. It really is.”"
With his Waino’s World charity, expanding its fantasy football league to four cities in 2014, he certainly is building a case for the Clemente Award.