2018 Nominee – David Robertson
Team: NY Yankees
During his first season with the Chicago White Sox in 2015, closer David Robertson immediately demonstrated citizenship to his new community through his non‐profit organization, High Socks for Hope. Not long after his arrival, a tornado ripped through Fairdale, Illinois, and High Socks stepped up to fund and prepare meals for survivors and volunteers. It also later furnished and purchased homes for families in the small town. David personally visited the Fairdale community in August to survey the damage and ongoing recovery as well as visit a family home built by the High Socks‐funded Habitat for Humanity Tuscaloosa team.
David and his wife Erin co‐founded High Socks for Hope in 2011 after his hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, was devastated by a tornado. The organization not only devotes its energy to passionately advocating for those devastated and displaced by tornadoes, hurricanes and other natural disasters, but also for homeless, disabled or destitute veterans. High Socks has provided furnishings and other resources for thousands of community members in Alabama, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma and Texas.
His commitment to serving those who have risked their lives on the front lines extends beyond the High Socks for Hope program. David has made multiple visits to Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, served as the team spokesman for the Wounded Warriors Project during his time with the Yankees and held a three to four-day “Life Hunt” each year through Buckmasters American Deer Foundation.
David’s charitable efforts have been an ongoing commitment and will continue as he partners with Cognitive Dynamics to bring the innovative Bringing Art to Life program to Chicago. The program, which has only been offered at the University of Alabama, pairs up people with dementia and students in a relationship‐building experience centered on art therapy and story sharing. David’s goal is to launch the Bringing Art to Life as a veteran‐centric program in underserved areas of Chicago this season through Rush University. This program is an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy, as it seeks to build a culture of compassion by teaching students mindfulness, vulnerability, compassion and active listening while also allowing veterans’ stories to be honored and preserved.
High Sock’s casino night fundraiser in June 2016 was another step towards bringing this program to life, as a portion of the event’s proceeds will go towards the program. As David continues to embrace Chicagoland as his home, he will maintain his position as a tremendous role model demonstrating the true meaning of honor, courage, trust and leadership for local youths.
Website – High Socks for Hope: http://www.highsocksforhope.org/
- Each homestand, David participates in meet-and-greets with wounded warriors prior to Yankees home games at Yankee Stadium.
- In 2011, he and his wife Erin established the David and Erin Robertson Foundation (“High Socks for Hope”) to raise funds to donate to the relief efforts in his hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, which was ravaged by tornadoes.
- Teamed up with the Stephen Stiller Tunnel to Towers Foundation to help furnish newly-repaired houses of 21 families on Staten Island after Superstorm Sandy.
- In total, High Socks for Hope has helped homeless veterans, as well as individuals and families who have lost their homes due to natural disasters in Alabama, Illinois, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, and Texas.
- In 2013, took part in the 2013 Buckmaster Life Hunt going on a three-day hunt with disabled children and wounded warriors.
- Was named by the MLB Players Association as the Yankees’ nominee for the 2017 marvin Miller “Man of the Year” award given annually to the player whose on-field performance and contributions to his community most inspire others to higher levels of achievement.
- Was named a recipient of the Thurman Munson Award in February 2018.
- Was named the 2013 winner of the “Ben Epstein – Dan Castellano ‘Good Guy” Award by members of the New York chapter of the BBWAA.