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Former Calhoun pitcher nominee for Roberto Clemente Award

Former Calhoun pitcher nominee for Roberto Clemente Award

By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com | | September 14th, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO -- Reds reliever J.J. Hoover was named Monday as the Reds' nominee for the 2015 Roberto Clemente Award.

Hoover is one of the 30 finalists from each club for the award that recognizes a Major League player "who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement."

"It's an awesome honor. I'm honored to be selected for it," Hoover said. "I don't really do it for recognition like that but the fact that I am, I'm pretty excited about it."

Hoover joined the Reds in 2012 and has been involved in a number of community and charitable initiatives. He works with the Reds Community Fund and visits children from the Reds Rookie Success League program and the annual baseball fantasy camp for kids clinic.

Away from the team, Hoover has frequently met with kids battling severe illnesses making Make-A-Wish visits to the ballpark, has played softball on the National Mall in Washington with the Wounded Warriors Foundation and is involved with the Chrohn's and Colitis Foundation.

With his wife, Megan-Kate, who works for the Cincinnati Zoo, Hoover also has taken part in events there, such as Bowling for Rhinos.

The Hoovers have both become involved with the Children's Home of Northern Kentucky. As the Reds' Clemente Award nominee, a $7,500 donation from Chevrolet will be made to the Children's Home of Northern Kentucky in Hoover's honor during a pregame ceremony Sept. 24 at Great American Ball Park.

"My wife found it and toured it this season," Hoover said. "It's something she has a big heart for. It's something I think we can make the most difference by impacting the youth."

The winner of the Roberto Clemente Award will be announced during the World Series. Past Reds who won it are Barry Larkin in 1993 and Pete Rose in 1976.

Players have been receiving the Roberto Clemente Award to honor their philanthropic efforts since 1973 as a way of honoring the Hall of Famer and Pirates great who died in a Dec. 31, 1972, plane crash while attempting to deliver relief supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hoover was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 2008 in the 10th round out of Calhoun Community College. 

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