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Emmanuel Clase receives 2022 American League LatinoMVP Relief/Closer Award

Robert Rizzo presents Emmanuel Clase with 2022 American League LatinoMVP Relief/Closer award at Progressive Field - Image Credit: Cleveland Guardians/MLB

CLEVELAND, OHIO — IN A CLASE OF HIS OWN! 

Prior to Friday’s game at Progressive Field, Emmanuel Clase, Cleveland’s All-Star closer, hailing from Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic, received his 2022 American League LatinoMVP Relief/Closer award — the oldest and most prestigious award given to Latino baseball players, dating back to 1990. 

The Guardians 25-year-old right-hander was presented his one-of-a-kind award by yours truly on Friday, September 15th — Roberto Clemente Day, which also marks the first day of Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15th-October 15th). 

Emmanuel Clase and Robert Rizzo in pregame LatinoMVP presentation. The impeccable artwork for Clase’s award was done by one of our exclusive LatinoMVP artists Maz Adams – Image Credit: Cleveland Guardians/MLB

Cleveland’s media and entertainment department ‘hit this one out of the park,’ in hosting Latino Sports on the night, each and every player/coach across Major League Baseball has the same number embroidered on their backs — No. 21 in honor of the great one Roberto Clemente — MLB’s most beloved humanitarian, who remains a legend in Puerto Rico and in all of Latin America. 

“If you have a chance to accomplish something that will make things better for people coming behind you, and you don’t do that, you are wasting your time on this earth.” – Roberto Clemente

Additionally, the Guardians celebrated Hispanic Heritage Night on Friday with festivities occurring before and during the game. For example, from 5:30-6:45 p.m., Le Salsa, the No. 1 Latin dance studio in Cleveland, invited fans of all skill levels to tag along with Le Salsa dancers for salsa dancing performances in the right field vicinity. A monumental night for all in the ballpark! 

But, back to the man of the hour. Clase became the third-ever LatinoMVP award recipient in Cleveland franchise history — joining Carlos Baerga in 1992, and Francisco Lindor in 2016.

Clase was nominated for the 2022 AL LatinoMVP Relief/Closer award by the Latino Sports Writers and Broadcasters Association this past offseason.

Emmanuel Clase and Robert Rizzo in pregame LatinoMVP presentation – Image Credit: Cleveland Guardians/MLB

In our LSWBA voting process for the 33rd Annual LatinoMVP awards — he defeated AL LatinoMVP Relief/Closer candidates: Bryan Abreu of the Houston Astros, Jhoan Duran of the Minnesota Twins, Jorge López of the Minnesota Twins (now with Baltimore), and Gregory Soto of the Detroit Tigers (now with Philadelphia). 

Clase finished his 2022 LatinoMVP Relief/Closer campaign with the following statistics: 

42 saves (1st in American League among relievers)

1.36 ERA (2nd in American League among relievers)

77 appearances (Tied for 1st in American League among relievers) 

72.2 innings pitched (7th in American League among relievers)

10 walks (Tied for 3rd-Lowest in American League among relievers) 

Incredible numbers across the board. And now with a LatinoMVP award in Emmanuel’s trophy case — he’s in a CLASE of his own!

Congratulations Emmanuel! 

Emmanuel Clase and Robert Rizzo during pregame LatinoMVP award presentation – Image Credit: Cleveland Guardians/MLB

Robert Rizzo is a journalist and editor of Latino Sports – Email: RobertRiz994@gmail.com

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