Matt Olson is Braves’ 2023 Roberto Clemente Award nominee

What a year for Braves first baseman Matt Olson. An Atlanta native, who’s four homers shy of equaling the franchise’s single-season record, Olson was named the team’s Roberto Clemente Award nominee Friday.

The Roberto Clemente Award is given annually to the major leaguer who “best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.” Each team nominates one player to be considered for the honor.

Olson has led fundraising on behalf of autism awareness and advocacy through the years. In January, he and his wife, Nicole, hosted Casino Night at Truist Park and raised more than $250,000 for ReClif Community, which Olson helped start.

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

On the field, Olson has enjoyed a career-best season with his hometown Braves, who own MLB’s best record (91-48). Olson, who’s homered in four consecutive games, leads the majors with 47 homers. His 116 RBIs also are the most in MLB, while his .977 OPS ranks sixth. Olson was named an All-Star for the second time in July.

The Braves will honor Olson as their Robert Clemente Award nominee before a Sept. 19 game against the Phillies. The Roberto Clemente Award winner, determined by a blue-ribbon panel, will be honored at the 2023 World Series.

Hall of Famer John Smoltz was the Braves’ last Roberto Clemente Award winner, in 2005. Dale Murphy (1988) and Phil Niekro (1980) were the franchise’s other winners.

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