Matt Olson Named Atlanta Braves’ Nominee for the 2023 Roberto Clemente Award Presented by Capitol One

Braves 1st Baseman Matt Olson has received a nomination for the Roberto Clemente Award for 2023. (Photo: AP Sports)

Major League Baseball announced that Matt Olson was named the Atlanta Braves’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Capital One, baseball’s most prestigious individual honor for Major Leaguers.

The Roberto Clemente Award presented by Capital One is the annual recognition of a Major League player who best represents the game of Baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.

 As part of the annual program, each MLB Club nominates one player to be considered for the league-wide Award in tribute to Clemente’s achievements and character. 

Since being traded to his hometown Atlanta Braves, Matt Olson has made a significant contribution to the Braves Country community by fundraising on behalf of autism awareness and advocacy.

Olson’s work on autism awareness stemmed from his longtime friendship with Reece Blankenship, who has autism and was unable to communicate his thoughts and emotions until age 19. In 2010, when Olson was in 10th grade, he became an applied behavior analysis therapist for Reece, who was in 9th grade at the time. Olson continued to work with Reece throughout high school and carried that on in the off seasons as a minor league player in the Oakland Athletics farm system.  

When Reece began to dream about opening a fitness-based therapy center in his hometown for others on the autism spectrum, Olson was the first to pledge a $5k donation to help start the company. ReClif opened their doors in 2017, with the mission to change the conversation surrounding autism. ReClif Community aims to provide a chance for more typical life experiences for individuals living with autism and those that care for them, and to empower beneficiaries with cognitive focused activities, social outreach, scholarship, and societal inclusion. ReClif Community strives to live Reece’s motto by “changing the conversation surrounding autism.”

In January 2023, Matt and Nicole Olson hosted their inaugural Casino Night at Truist Park raising more than $250k for ReClif Community to continue their work in the autism community.

Through his annual salary contribution to the Atlanta Braves Foundation, the Braves have created “The Matt Pack.” Each Braves home game, a family impacted by autism is invited to enjoy a complimentary, sensory-friendly game experience at Truist Park. The Matt Pack has provided inclusive gameday experiences for fans with sensory sensitivities and created memories with young Braves fans with life altering illnesses. 

The Atlanta Braves will honor Matt Olson as their 2023 Roberto Clemente Award nominee with a pregame celebration on Tuesday, September 19.

“I am honored and humbled to be named the Braves’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award,” said Braves first baseman, Matt Olson. “I’m grateful to be associated with such inspiring representatives from around the league, and proud of the work my teammates and players across Major League Baseball have done for their communities.”

Friday, September 15th marks the 22nd annual Roberto Clemente Day presented by Capital One, which was established by Major League Baseball to honor Clemente’s legacy as a humanitarian and to formally acknowledge Club nominees of the Roberto Clemente Award. As part of the league-wide celebration, the Roberto Clemente Day logo will appear on the bases and official dugout lineup cards and a customized tribute video to Roberto will be shown in all MLB ballparks on Roberto Clemente Day as well as on MLB Network,, Club sites and MLB Social Media Platforms.

The league-wide winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Capital One will be honored at the 2023 World Series following selection by a blue-ribbon panel. This panel includes representatives from the Commissioner’s Office, Capital One, MLB-affiliated networks (MLB Network, FOX Sports, ESPN and TBS),, the National Baseball Hall of Fame, as well as Roberto’s children, Enrique, Luis and Roberto Clemente, Jr. Beginning today, fans can vote for the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Capital One via (in both English and Spanish). The site, which will feature bios of each of the nominees, will allow fans to vote until the end of the season on Sunday, October 1st. The winner of the fan vote will count as one vote among those cast by the blue-ribbon panel.

The concept of honoring Major League players for their philanthropic work was created in 1971 as the “Commissioner’s Award.” The recognition was renamed to the “Roberto Clemente Award” in 1973 tribute to Clemente following his passing.

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