OAKLAND -- Jonny Gomes was named the recipient of this year's Dave Stewart Community Service Award, which recognizes an A's player for his charitable contributions throughout Northern California and across the country.
A native of Petaluma, Gomes' support of the Petaluma National Little League team went beyond being one of its most noteworthy fans, with Gomes raising money through a media campaign to cover transportation and lodging costs for the families of players at the World Series in Williamsport, Pa.
"I think it should be in the job description and it should be in the title of being a professional athlete," Gomes said. "I think you have so many avenues once you get to the top to be able to help people out."
Gomes has also supported numerous other charities, including TroopsDirect, the Wounded Warrior Project and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Returning to the Bay Area after signing a one-year deal this past offseason with an A's organization that he followed closely while growing up, Gomes has provided a valuable presence in the youthful clubhouse, as well as an important bat off the bench.
"I've said often this year that very rarely do you see guys who have the impact in the clubhouse that aren't everyday players," manager Bob Melvin said. "That shows you a little about his makeup and the pride he has in wearing this uniform. Knowing the history goes a long way. When you're trying to get back on track as an organization, it takes people of class like that who really care about being in this uniform and playing in this organization, and he is one of those."
And having watched Dave Stewart man the Oakland Coliseum mound as a young baseball fan, the magnitude of playing for the A's isn't lost on Gomes.
"Every day I step into these double doors, it's awesome for me," Gomes said. "A lot of guys see this place old and run-down, but I see the history."