There are other bad nominees, but no one as unlike Roberto Clemente as this guy. My only explanation for how this happened, is that MLB decided on the nominees sometime in June, and it was questionable whether Grady Sizemore would still be on the team when the candidates were announced.
Maybe it's because I've spent several summers watching him completely implode under the pressures of hitting a major league curveball. Or maybe it's because he's fat. I don't know, but I'm positive that Jhonny Peralta is the anti-Clemente.
Peralta = .267 career batting average
Clemente = .317 career batting average, 4 time batting champion
Peralta = 14 career triples
Clemente = 166 career triples, 11 per 162 games
Peralta = 822 hits, 161 per 162 games
Clemente = 3,000 hits, 200 per 162 games
Peralta = 6'1", 210 lbs (conservative listing)
Clemente = 5'11, 175 lbs
Peralta = 27.7 Body Mass Index (overweight)
Clemente = 24.4 Body Mass Index (normal)
Peralta = terrible fielding shortstop
Clemente = 12 time gold glove winner
Peralta = terrible fielding third baseman
Clemente = considered one of the greatest right fielders of all time
Peralta = participant in "Cleveland Indians Community Outreach Department's "Shop with a Pro" program, an event where local Boys & Girls Club members team up with players to then go shopping."
Clemente = "died on New Year's Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua."
Everything I hear about Bob Clemente tells me that he was one of the most exciting players ever. Heck, he's the answer to the trivia question: who hit the only walk-off, inside the park, grandslam? Walk-off, inside the park, grandslam!! That is so ridiculously exciting! Gunning guys down at third base, while still on his knees in deep right field--exciting!
Jhonny Peralta's 752 career strikeouts and .760 OPS... not so thrilling. For him to match Clemente's legacy, he'd have to overcome his on field mediocrity with just a shocking amount of charity and good works. We're talking the cure for AIDS or something on that level.
"...participates in special meet-and-greets with young fans at the ballpark."