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Interview with Raisel Iglesias the 2020 LatinoMVP NL Relief/Closer of the year.

Yesterday, Latino Sports had the opportunity to visit with the 2020 LatinoMVP NL Relief/Closer of the year, Raisel Iglesias. We travelled to Tempe Diablo Stadium in Arizona to present him his award that which could not presented earlier due to the Covid pandemic and other logistical complications. Raisel was quite pleased, his eyes spoke volume when he saw his award, a painting done by Latino Sports contributing artist, Mathew “Maz” Zucker. He loved the award and told us it was going to be displayed in his home.

LS: Tell us a little about yourself, where were you born and how did you get here to the big leagues.

RI: I’m Cuban from the Isla de La Juventud province. I am presently living in Miami, Fl where I have been living for the past 9 years. I started baseball as a very young child when I would see the big-league players in my hometown and that motivated me in baseball. I am so glad that I followed my dream and as you can see, little by little I continued to get here in the big leagues to play the best baseball in world.

When you were a child in Cuba who was your idol?

RI: When I was in Cuba my idol was Michel Enriquez. He was the third baseman for the Isla de Juventud team. He was an excellent athlete. We had the opportunity to play together when I progressed and was eventually integrated into the province team, he was still there, and we had a chance to be teammates.

LS: What can you tell me as to how is it that though there is a U.S. blockade against Cuba, there seems to be quite a few Cuban players that come here and in little time get brought to the major leagues. What’s the secret?

RI: What can I tell you? Baseball in Cuban transcends into a lot of history. It has a high degree of quality, there is a lot of talent once you develop, and you really want to see how good you are then you must make some serious complicated decisions to come here and play the highest level.

LS: Now, why am I here in Arizona. I’m here because you won the LatinoMVP Relief/Closer in 2020 when you were playing with Cincinnati. Did you know anything about the award and that you had won it?

RI: (smiling & excited) No not really. I knew nothing about that award, or that it was an award for Latino baseball players. Now is when I learn about the award and grateful to you for bringing it to me. I am very happy to have won this award and I will cherish it.

LS: What do think that there is this award given exclusively for Latino players?

RI: It is an excellent award that all of us Latino baseball players should know about to continue to encourage and motivate us more to try and win it. I am grateful to be among this club of so many other top Latino players who have won it.

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