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Oneil Cruz receives his long-awaited 2022 National League LatinoMVP Rookie Award

Pittsburgh Pirates future All-Star Oneil Cruz was more than happy and grateful to receive his LatinoMVP Rookie of the Year award from Latino Sports on Wednesday morning at Citi Field - Image Credit: Latino Sports

FLUSHING, NY — Pittsburgh’s star-studded shortstop Oneil Cruz officially entered the rare and elite club on Wednesday morning prior to the Pirates-Mets series finale at Citi Field — the one-and-only, LatinoMVP award pantheon — receiving his long-awaited 2022 National League LatinoMVP Rookie of the Year award from Latino Sports founder & president Julio Pabón, and Maz Adams, the artist behind Cruz’s one-of-a-kind award. 

The LatinoMVP is the oldest and most prestigious award given to Latino MLB athletes, starting back in 1990. Over the last thirty-four (34) years, several former and active players have compared the honor to winning a Latin Grammy, while others have even called the LatinoMVP, the “Latin Grammy of Baseball.” 

The Latino Sports team, and members of the Latino Sports Writers and Broadcasters Association (LSWBA), decided to wait until this season to present Cruz with his 2022 National League LatinoMVP Rookie award, due to him suffering an ankle injury in April of 2023 — which forced the future All-Star to miss the entirety of last season. 

The Nizao, Dominican Republic native, standing at 6’7” and 215 lbs, was more than happy and grateful to receive his well-deserved award.

Oneil Cruz surveys his LatinoMVP Rookie of the Year award with Maz Adams and Julio Pabón alongside – Image Credit: Latino Sports

We cannot forget to mention, and it’s with great appreciation in making Oneil’s day as special as possible, Pabón, Adams, and I, Robert Rizzo, were assisted by the Pirates’ Director of Baseball Communications Patrick Kurish. A job well done by the Pirates, a franchise that understands the importance and value of promoting Latinos to the highest degree. 

To rewind to 2022 — Cruz’s rookie campaign, the left-handed slugger recorded 17 home runs, 54 RBI, and 10 stolen bases in 87 games, to go along with defensive web gems that had all who were watching, not believing what they had their eyes on… 

Now that we are in 2024, as Cruz is already a one-time LatinoMVP award recipient, and back to 100% health & strength, it should be interesting just how many times he can achieve the rare LatinoMVP feat in his MLB career. 

Hey, he’s only 25-years-old — the sky’s the limit for CRUZ!

Oneil Cruz’s reaction tells it all on why we do, what we do at Latino Sports, and that’s recognizing the stellar performances made by Latinos whether it be: on-the-field, or off, contributing to their local community, their home land, and/or the youth across the globe + leading as a role model – Image Credit: Maz Adams/Latino Sports

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

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