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Players To Soon Receive Their LatinoMVP Awards

Bronx, NY: The 2019 LatinoMVP Awards are finally ready to be given to the winners. Presenting these 30th annual awards has not been easy and presenting them is  going to be quite different from what we have always been accustomed to doing. As we all have been witnessing, this Covid-19 pandemic has changed everything that we have been accustomed to and baseball is no exception. Under the circumstances we are nevertheless proud to make sure that the most prestigious and oldest baseball awards given to Latino baseball players would not be interrupted due to the pandemic.

The first ever LatinoMVP Award, Yankee Stadium, April 1990 (Latino Sports Archives)

Our usual awards would entail anything from an awards luncheon where we also invite local Little Leaguers and community leaders to experience an opportunity to share time and love with a baseball player that they would rarely get a chance to meet. The players always enjoyed this exchange of receiving a prestigious award from their own Latino community, sometimes accompanied by their family in a small intimate event where they are allowed to just be themselves and not bothered by fans hawking autographs and or, pictures unless they agree to.

Gio receiving his 2017 LatinoMVP Award in Citi-Field. (Photo Latino Sports)

Other awards were presented in an on field pre-game ceremony coordinated by the teams in front of their home fans. Still others were presented in a private presentation prior to batting practice with the player wherever we happened to meet them. In every presentation, the reaction of the players to the awards was always the same, they were extremely appreciative and sometimes surprised to receive a piece of art since they had been so use to receiving awards in the form of a trophy, plaque and certificates, but rarely a piece of art*. Many would remark, “This is going to my wall in my home.” Many wives had told us that the award was one of the best that they had seen and that it was definitely going to their home. Some have even asked us for copies to give to relatives, especially the player’s parents.

Unfortunately, this year the awards will be presented under the rules of social distancing. Stadiums are not open to the fans, and only a small a number of journalist are issued press credentials. There is no contact with the players and all communication is through video conferencing, or social distancing. Bottom line is that the days of walking up to the players in their locker rooms, or on the field are over. However, when you develop a company that was built confronting obstacles as we have in Latino Sports, we don’t give up. but we look for creative solutions. Thus thanks to the cooperation of MLB and the teams who have winners we have been able to arrange for each player to receive their long anticipated and well earned award.

Each award will be mailed, or delivered to the team and thanks to the cooperation of the Media Directors, who agreed on taking the award to the players. We have ask that the players do a self video, or pictures of themselves receiving the award and send any comments for us to follow up and report on the presentation. This is all new to everyone. We trust that the excitement, respect and love that we put into the awards will be felt even though we are all struggling to cope with this health pandemic and economic crisis that we are experiencing.

Congrats to all the winners.

Latino American League MVP: Gleyber Torres, NY Yankees

Latino National League MVP: Anthony Rendón, Wash. Nationals

Latino MVP American League Pitcher: José Berríos, Minn. Twins

Latino MVP National League Pitcher: Aníbal Sánchez, Wash. Nationals

Latino MVP American League Relief/Closer: Aroldis Chapman, NY Yankees

Latino MVP National League Relief/Closer: Seth Lugo, NY Mets

Latino MVP American League Rookie: Yordan Álvarez, Hou. Astros

Latino MVP National League Rookie: Pete Alonzo, NY Mets

*ABOUT THE ARTIST JAMES FIORENTINO & JOHN PENNISI

Born in Somerset, New Jersey in 1977, James’s artwork was recognized at an early age. At the age of fifteen, James Fiorentino became the youngest artist ever to be featured in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum for his likeness of Reggie Jackson. In 1998, James became the youngest artist to be inducted into the prestigious New York Society of Illustrators, along with such artists as Norman Rockwell and Andrew Wyeth. He has worked with many legends of the past and stars of today, including Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Cal Ripken Jr. and Muhammad Ali. His photo-realism in watercolor has helped him become a nationally known wildlife and portrait artist, painting people from everyday life to Presidents and Nobel Peace Prize winners. Many of James’ works currently grace the walls of museums, galleries, companies and private collections. James’ work can be seen nationally in books and magazines and on trading cards. In 2001, “The Fiorentino Collection” consisted of approximately 100 paintings for Upper Deck Trading Cards depicting legends in five major sports. James’ work and story has been carried on national television, and in magazines and newspapers.

John Pennisi, is a renowned caricature sports artist. Since the age of 17, he has illustrated over 750 drawings of some of the biggest MLB players to ever play the game. His work has appeared in numerous publications/websites throughout the country. He has collaborated with the legendary artists in the comic book industry who have been dear friends and mentors. Finally, he is the official artist of the prestigious LatinoMVP Award and the BBWAA Awards program.

 

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