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Parents of Major Leaguers Javier and Jose Valentin Chosen as Little League Parents of the Year

Yolanda and Jose Valentin

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (Aug. 9, 2005) – Jose and Javier Valentin flourished playing Little League Baseball as children in Manati, Puerto Rico, and are now enjoying rewarding careers in Major League Baseball.

Such success on the field, and off, is a tribute to Jose and Javier’s parents, Jose, Sr. and Yolanda Valentin, whose enduring support and commitment to the Little League program will be recognized when they are presented with the George and Barbara Bush Parents of the Year Award at the 2005 Little League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Pa.

The Valentins are the first Little League Parents of the Year to have two children reach the Major Leagues.

Jose Sr., is the president of the Jose Rodriguez Little League in Manati, and was the manager for Javier’s Junior Division team that won the 1989 Little League Junior Baseball World Series championship in Taylor, Mich. Mrs. Valentin has been a long-time volunteer in the local league.

The George and Barbara Bush Parents of the Year Award was established in 1980 and is presented annually to the parents of a Major League Baseball player who were actively involved in their son’s Little League experience. The award is named in honor of the 41st President of the United States, George H.W. Bush, and former First Lady Barbara Bush. Both were Little League volunteers during their children’s early years in Midland, Texas, and continue to support Little League today.

“The Valentins embraced the Little League program as a family, and are role models for other families around the world who wish to get involved in their community,” Stephen D. Keener, president and chief executive officer of Little League Baseball and Softball, said. “As Jose and Javier Valentin have shown, becoming a Major League Baseball player is an attainable dream, but during their Little League days, what was paramount was playing baseball and having fun. The fact that the Valentin children are playing professional baseball is a testament to their talent and will to succeed, coupled with the morals and character set forth by their parents in support of Little League. We are proud to present them with this award.”

More than recognition of one set of parents annually, the George and Barbara Bush Parents of the Year Award is designed to be a symbolic recognition of the millions of mothers and fathers who each year respond to the call of parental duty and help to provide a wholesome healthy arena for leadership training for the children of their respective communities.

Some of the past recipients of the award include: Mr. and Mrs. Jack Schmidt, (parents of Mike Schmidt, 1981), Mr. and Mrs. Carl Yastremski (parents of Carl Yastremski, 1989); Mr. and Mrs. Malcolm Mussina (parents of Mike Mussina, 1996), Dr. and Mrs. Charles Jeter (parents of Derek Jeter, 2000) and Mr. and Mrs. Joe Varitek (parents of Jason Varitek, 2003). The 2004 recipients were Mr. and Mrs. Charles Johnson Sr., parents of Colorado Rockies catcher, Charles Johnson.

Little League Baseball and Softball is the world’s largest organized youth sports program, with nearly 2.7 million players and 1 million adult volunteers in every U.S. state and scores of other countries.