Red Sox pitcher Tanner Houck is thrilled to be Boston’s nominee for the 2023 Roberto Clemente Award.

During the right-hander’s first full season in the Red Sox organization, he launched his Pitch for Adoption foundation. Since then, Houck has continued to stick by those charitable efforts, leading to a nomination of an ultimate honor as one of Major League Baseball’s community leaders. And Houck hopes nothing changes for years to come.

“It’s an incredible honor,” Houck said during Friday night’s matchup with the Chicago White Sox, as seen on NESN’s live broadcast. “The thing that I remembered most of when we started this back in 2018 — my first full season with the Red Sox — was we were like, ‘Listen this is going to grow with my career.’ … I hope to represent it well and I hope to make this a yearly thing where I can compete for that award. I love giving back to the community of Boston, it’s my second home for sure.”

Through his foundation, Houck is an advocate for adoption and has close experience with it when his family adopted his younger sister, Reanna, when he was in high school.

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Houck is now one of 30 players up for the Roberto Clemente Award. Clemente, who racked up over 3,000 hits plus 15 All-Star nominations through his Hall of Fame playing career, tragically passed away in a plane crash in 1972 while flying aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. But Clemente’s life and unselfish efforts to be a difference-maker have inspired generations of players after him.

Justin Turner, who last season played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, won the award and has since sported a No. 21 patch on his Red Sox hat in honor of Clemente. He also elected to wear the No. 21 on Roberto Clemente Day, which only past winners of the award can don or players of Puerto Rican descent — Clemente’s native land.

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Before Friday night’s contest at Fenway Park, the Red Sox honored Houck with a pregame ceremony for his nomination.

If Houck does win, he’d be the first Red Sox representative to bring home the prestigious honor since David Ortiz did so back in 2011, a year after former teammate Tim Wakefield won.

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Featured image via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images