Gio Get’s The LatinoMVP Award • Latino Sports


Gio Get’s The LatinoMVP Award


Bronx, NY: Back in the beginning of the baseball season, Washington Nationals pitcher, Gio González was surprised and very happy to learned he was the winner of the prestigious LatinoMVP award. Prior to then, he had never heard of the award that has been in existence since 1989, but once he learned of its 28-year history and of the many Latino stars who have won, he was ecstatic.

Together we spoke of our Latino heritage. Mine from Puerto Rico and his Cuban via his parents as Gio was born in, Hialeah, Florida. We agreed to continue to communicate on an appropriate day to give him his award. He saw the other awards given to past winners and was very excited to know he would be receiving something similar. The award is a watercolor painting by nationally known and acclaimed artist, James Fiorentino.

After some communications we agreed to host an awards ceremony in New York when the Nationals came to play the Mets. We had waited enough time to have a better prediction on the teams pitching rotation. We both agreed that Friday August 24 would be a good day as per our calculations he would be pitching the next day Saturday August 25th. An awards luncheon was planned for Friday where he would invite his family. We at Latino Sports worked with our major sponsor, MLB and BronxCare to bring other invited guests.

Unfortunately, the baseball Gods had a different idea and on Thursday before the luncheon we all learned that Gio’s pitching schedule was move up and he would be pitching on Friday, not Saturday. This forced us to cancel the luncheon as pitchers are basically in isolation on their pitching days. Again after much conversation we agreed to give Gio his award on Saturday at Citi-Field.

Gio was proud to receive the award from Julio Pabón, LS Pres & standing next to his dad, Maximo. (Photo, Latino Sports, Nicole Perez)

Apparently, our elders saying, “everything happens for a reason” was proven as Gio received much more publicity and attention getting the award on the field during batting practice than he would have received at the restaurant. Once we were at the stadium we began to spread the word about Gio getting his award among the Latino press and by the time we were getting ready to present the award we had approximately ten sports news affiliates ready to cover the presentation and interview, both Gio and his father who Gio arranged to get him on the field to stand with him.

Gio was very excited and when he received and examined the painting, both he and his father, Maximo were in seventh heaven. Both their remarks were congratulating Latino Sports, the Latino Sports Writers & Broadcasters Association and the artist, James Fiorentino for what Gio described as one of the most memorable days of his career receiving such a prestigious award from his Latino community.

About Julio Pabón

Julio is President and Founder of Latino Sports LLC., the parent company of Julio is a product of the South Bronx where he still lives and runs his businesses. Julio has written and has been interviewed for numerous publication and networks on sports & political issues. He has been an activist promoting social justice and respect for all communities. He is a recognized motivational speaker, was an adjunct professor of American History and presently volunteer's as a lecturer in local South Bronx High Schools. His primary goal is to make a multi-facet sports portal that will engender social and economic empowerment to the Latino community.

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