Back in April, when the San Diego Padres traveled to New York to face the Mets at Citi Field, I, Robert Rizzo, along with Latino Sports president and founder Julio Pabón, had the chance to have an in-depth conversation with Dominican superstar Manny Machado about the 33rd Annual LatinoMVP Awards — the most prestigious and oldest awards given to Latino baseball players, dating back to 1990.
We talked with Manny for a good 10-15 minutes in the Padres clubhouse, discussing the history of the award, how he was a nominee for the 2022 National League LatinoMVP on our official award ballot, then went on to reveal to him that he had won the illustrious 2022 NL LatinoMVP — voted on by the Latino Sports Writers and Broadcasters Association, who work together from around the United States, the Caribbean and Latin America.
— Latino Sports (@LatinoSports) April 12, 2023
Machado’s immediate reaction on the massive news? A bright smile with a response that lit up the room!
“This will probably be one of the highest ones on my list, probably number one,” he said. “Just to get nominated and winning it and being able to do it as a Latino player and you know it’s just, I mean from what I’ve heard, it’s just an unbelievable honor and I’m blessed to have accomplished it.”
Machado also mentioned just how significant the LatinoMVP Award is to him, and for all Latinos in Major League Baseball: “It’s huge — I think you know as players we give a lot to the community; we give a lot to this game, and you know sometimes it goes unrecognized. In our countries, and where we’re from you know, it’s bigger than the game. And for it to be recognized at this level, it’s something that needs to grow more.”
I write this today, Saturday September 23rd, because it is a special day for Manny, Latino Sports, the LSWBA, and Major League Baseball, as we have all planned ahead in being able to present Machado with his 2022 National League LatinoMVP Award prior to tonight’s Cardinals-Padres game at Petco Park with an on-the-field ceremony featuring Latino Sports president and founder Julio Pabón.
And to let everyone know, we do things differently here at Latino Sports…
Major Leaguers have been awarded trophies, and plaques, ever since they began their playing days as a young child, seeking out that lifelong dream of hopefully playing in the Show in front of thousands of fans — so with that in mind, what we do is award American/National League LatinoMVP recipients with a one-of-a-kind mural painting by one of our exclusive LatinoMVP artists James Fiorentino, who is nationally known and recognized for his impeccable artwork and craftsmanship.
To be celebrating a player’s career milestone, one in which many in MLB clubhouses have deemed, the “Latin Grammy of Baseball,” during Hispanic Heritage Month in front of their respective home crowd and fanbase is, what can I say, “MAN, OH MAN.”
“That’s a special month for us,” Machado said. “It’s going to be a special award and you know, I’m just looking forward to that day. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to receive that.”
From all of us here at Latino Sports, the LSWBA, and MLB, congratulations to Manny on winning the 2022 National League LatinoMVP Award!
33rd Annual LatinoMVP Award Presentation Schedule!
September 15th (Roberto Clemente Day) — New York Mets, Citi Field: Edwin Díaz, N.L. LatinoMVP Relief/Closer and Cleveland Guardians, Progressive Field: Emmanuel Clase, A.L. LatinoMVP Relief/Closer
September 17th — Seattle Mariners, T-Mobile Park: Julio Rodríguez, A.L LatinoMVP Rookie
September 22nd — Houston Astros, Minute Maid Park: Yordan Álvarez, A.L. LatinoMVP
September 23rd — San Diego Padres, Petco Park: Manny Machado, N.L. LatinoMVP
To Be Announced — Pittsburgh Pirates, PNC Park: Oneil Cruz, N.L. LatinoMVP Rookie
Robert Rizzo is a journalist and editor of Latino Sports – Email: RobertRiz994@gmail.com
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