Bartolo Colon Receives Latino MVP as National League Pitcher of the Year

On Friday afternoon at Citi Field, Bartolo Colon received the “Juan Marichal Distinguished Pitcher of the Year” for the 2014 season. He was the first of the winners of the 26th annual Latino MVP awards voted by the Latino Sportswriters and Broadcasters Association (LSWBA) to receive his deserved honor. The award now named to honor the Dominican born Hall of Famer represents the Latino MVP Award for National League pitcher of 2014.

Colon, who reached his 42nd birthday five days earlier, compiled a 15-13 won/lost mark with the Mets last year. Although his record in his first season with the Mets may not seem outstanding, it should be noted the Mets had an under .500 record (79-83), he led the team in victories and he was only the 22nhd Mets hurler to achieve at least 15 wins in a single season.

The Dominican native’s advanced age did not hinder his durability or effectiveness. For the first time since his American League Cy Young Award winning season of 2005, colon made more than 30 starts (31), pitched more than 200 innings (202.1) and struck out more than 150 batters (151).

He achieved a career high K/BB ration of 5.03, third in the National League with 151 strikeouts and 30 walks. He also had his lowest mark in walks per 9 innings. His BB/9 of 1.33 was fifth in the N.L. Both marks were fourth in Mets history.

The ceremony, held in the press Conference Room at City Field, began with blessings upon Colon and all attending. A message of welcome from the New York Mets was delivered by Melissa Rodriguez of the Mets Media Relations Staff.

Julio Pabón, the founder and current president of the LSWBA, ably served as master of ceremonies. He began explaining the reason these awards began in 1989. Many baseball observers believed Ruben Sierra was overlooked for reasons not connected to his outstanding year on the baseball field when Robin Yount was voted as the American League MVP for 1989.

A quarter of a century later, these awards still exist and have grown in importance. Pabón introduced the award recipient by describing his stats in 2014 and adding, “also for his outstanding career spanning 18 seasons and being an example of an athlete’s ability to persevere and his tenacity to win.”

Among the gifts Colon received were a drawing, a painting and a proclamation from the New York City Council.

Colon graciously remained to sign autographs and pose for photos.

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