Thanks to a combined effort by the Lansing Lugnuts and Cafecito Caliente, the Latino Night with the Lugnuts was a success on many levels. Recognizing the Latin American Baseball players from 1948-1977 by having some of the Old-timers take the field along the first base line was quite a moment to see. With kids, and grandkids watching from the stands, first up was the local childrens dance group Fantasia. They performed beautifully with their muliti-colored dresses and well orchestrated moves, and had the attention of a stadium. Much thanks to the photographers Albert Lopez, Fabian Benavides and Antonella Benavides for capturing these moments. Special thanks to Vita Medrano who caught the only picture we had on the field of the Old timers themselves. After that, Benny Huerta; Robert Saldivar; Ben Benavides; Olivia Mejorado; Andy Arambula; Pete Perez; Jose Enriquez; Frank Medrano; Elizer Reyes and Felix Montalvo Jr. (representing his dad Felix Montalvo Sr); and Mario Luna (representing his grandfather Al Mejorado). The hope next year is to have many more former coaches, players and key people who were apart of the 30 year history of the leagues. What started as Benny Huerta, Dario Medrano and Eluterio Lopez deciding to start a team as a way of entertainment, family time and relaxation from the migrant fields, became a place to be each Sunday during the summer. With a rise in ticket sales from 90 to 240 and this years 370, Latino Night with the Lugnuts is sure to grow. Sein Paul Benavides handled ticket sales while Diane Hernandez-Wodja took care of the business side and graphics for the booklet that was handed out free during the game. Flavored Threads once again provided a great looking shirt with 170 being sold. With help from Chayo Cervantes from WKAR Ondas Con Chayo, Grand Cafe Sir Pizza and Simple as 1,2, Tan, word got out slowly but surely. Sein was given a word from Kohl Tyrell, Corporate Account Executive for the Lansing Lugnuts right after the Pre-game festivities. Kohl told Sein that “you were right, we need to do more, we need to give you more to do. Next year we start planning early. All the players on the field thanked me for letting them on the field. It was great!” Although many enjoyed the evening, the question often asked is “what makes it Latino Night?” In Toledo, Ohio, “Latino Heritage Night” has celebrated the culture for 12 years now with the Toledo Mudhens Baseball Team fully invested in the festivities. Singing the National Anthem was Yvonne Ramos-Ybarra from the Grupo Fuego. Also part of the evening were Mariachis, Folkloric dancers and a staff member from the La Prensa newspaper staff throwing out the first pitch. About $3,400.00 in scholarships awarded to Latino students in the community with an on the field presentation. The community sold 400 tickets to support the event and included a pregame concert right across the street with Grupo Fuego performing along with a pregame “Taco Bar” for 50 people set up in the stadium. In Saginaw, Michigan, the Saginaw Loons have provided the Latino community with Folkloric dancers before the game, and then fireworks and a Salsa party right after. With the Great Lakes Bay Hispanic Leadership Institute taking the lead in ticket sales, the group hit their goal of 400 tickets along with some colorful t-shirts. Utilizing the Leadership group as Ambassadors selling tickets and getting the word out, Saginaw only looks to grow as they have a large group of people to organize the event year after. For more information please contact Sein for more information 57-303-7001.