JUPITER, FL– Prior to Thursday’s Spring Training game between the New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals, I sat down with All-Star third baseman and 2017 NL Latino MVP award winner Nolan Arenado. We discussed a variety of topics, but first, and most importantly, I informed Nolan of his name appearing on this year’s Latino MVP Award Ballot – the 33rd Annual Latino MVP Awards voted on by the Latino Sports Writers and Broadcasters Association (LSWBA).
Arenado, of Cuban and Puerto Rican heritage, is a finalist for the 2022 National League Latino MVP Award along with the following four players.
Ronald Acuña Jr. – Atlanta Braves
Francisco Lindor – New York Mets
Pete Alonso – New York Mets
Manny Machado – San Diego Padres
The following is our exclusive interview with Nolan Arenado, a candidate for the 33rd Annual LatinoMVP Awards.
LS: Thank you for taking time for this interview. First, I would like to give you a bit of the history. It started in 1990 when we gave the first award to Ruben Sierra for his 1989 season where many thought he should have won the American League MVP but did not. Since then, the LatinoMVP award was established to recognize the efforts of the Latino baseball players. Today the award is the most prestigious award given to Latino baseball players. You are on the ballot (say’s WOW!). What are your thoughts?
NA: That’s great, I don’t speak Spanish, but I have a lot of Spanish in me from my dad, my mom. I got the Puerto Rican and Cuban side in me. That’s an amazing feeling and I am proud of my Latino Heritage. I feel I would not be the player I am if I did not have that blood. So, it is a great feeling, thank you.
LS: What is your thought to the fact that there is an award exclusively for Latino baseball players?
NA: Well, I think it’s great. Without the Latino baseball players, baseball would not be what it is. All the cultures from Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Cuba, Columbian, I know I’m missing a few, but all of them because if it was not for them the game would not be what it is, so we are very thankful for the Latin community.
LS: If you win this award, you will not be receiving a trophy, or a plaque. You probably have been receiving those since you were in your crib (He laughs), what we give is a painting, Albert Pujols has eight of them and he says he has a security guard in his house to protect them (he laughs). Big Papi has won a few, Igor González, and many others. If you win the award, we will be going to St. Louis to give you the award during Hispanic Heritage Month. How would you feel about getting the award during Hispanic Heritage Month?
NA: It would be amazing, obviously anytime you win an award means that you are doing something right so I would be just as proud of winning that award just like every other award I have won. It’s a joy to win anything and I would be very proud of it.
LS: You should know that the candidates and the winners are selected by the Latino Baseball Writers and Broadcasters Association from across the nation, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, and Mexico. So just to be on the list and be a candidate is a great achievement.
NA: Yeah, for sure thank you. Being on the ballot is a cool thing. Being on the ballot for anything is an honor. If I win it’s great, if I don’t, it’s all good. I’m just grateful to be on the ballot.
LS: Well, you know that some people who don’t win a Grammy, say proudly that they were a Grammy nominee, so you can say you were a candidate for the Latin Grammy of baseball.
NA: That’s true, if I lose, I probably won’t be happy, but it’s OK because there are a lot of great players.
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