Detroit Tigers MVP Magglio Ordoñez funds new scholarships for area’s young people
DETROIT, Mich. (The Michigan Catholic) - To the cheers of hundreds of kids involved in Little League baseball, Detroit Tigers outfielder Magglio Ordoñez announced last Sunday a new scholarship to help young people from southwest Detroit go to college.
A TEAM EFFORT - Detroit Tigers right-fielder Magglio Ordoñez holds up the Holy Redeemer baseball shirt he received last Sunday from Salvador Razo, 12, pitcher for Holy Redeemer Elementary School’s seventh-eighth grade team. (the Michigan Catholic/Robert Delaney)
A different recipient from a southwest Detroit high school will be chosen each year, and the scholarship is renewable for up to four years, for a total value of $10,000.
Ordoñez encouraged the young people in their love of baseball, and spoke to them about the importance of college.
The ballplayer arranged the scholarship through the Detroit Tigers Foundation and the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.
In addition, the Detroit Tigers organization will refurbish area baseball diamonds where Little League teams play.
Ordoñez also answered questions from some of his young fans, such as Salvador Razo, 12, pitcher on the seventh-eighth grades team at Holy Redeemer.
Salvador gave a Holy Redeemer baseball shirt to Ordoñez, and asked him how he is treated in his home country of Venezuela.
“Venezuelans love baseball,” Ordoñez told him.
And the Tiger drew cheers when he answered another fan’s question about what kind of food he likes by saying, “Mexican food.”
Last Sunday’s event was co-sponsored by the Southwest Detroit Business Organization. “Education is important in this community, and kids don’t always have the resources to pay for college,” said Kathy Wendler, the organization’s president.
Holy Redeemer baseball coach Ish Ledesma said Ordoñez’ appearance “was just phenomenal – the whole neighborhood was lifted up by this.”
He called the scholarship a great opportunity for southwest Detroit young people, and something that is badly needed in the area.
Msgr. Donald Hanchon, pastor of Most Holy Redeemer Parish, praised the Tigers for their commitment to fix up area baseball diamonds, including the one at Holy Redeemer, and praised Ordoñez for sponsoring the scholarship.
“I can’t wait ‘til the first Cristo Rey grad gets a scholarship,” Msgr. Hanchon added, referring to the new Catholic high school slated to open in the former Holy Redeemer High School building this fall.
Fermin and Maria Sanchez were among the many local families who came to the announcement event, bringing their two sons, Eric, 6, and Yahir, 2. “That’s good; it will give somebody a career,” Maria Sanchez said of the scholarship.
Colleen Winne and Makayla Monciavais, both 16 and students at Cabrini High School in Allen Park, each wore shirts with Ordoñez’ name. “It was very cool that he was here to encourage the younger kids to play baseball and be involved with their community,” said Colleen, who lives in southwest Detroit.
“I thought it was pretty amazing that he was so generous,” said Makayla, an Allen Park resident.
Applications for the Ordoñez Family Scholarship are available at www.cfsem.org.
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