World Series MVP, Providence native Jeremy Peña returns to community Saturday
"My parents have been my inspiration my whole life, my heroes. I've never had to leave my house to find role models. I'd always just wake up in the morning and see two of them standing up in my kitchen."
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — It was homecoming weekend for Providence’s very own, Jeremy Peña.
The shortstop won the 2022 Gold Glove Award, helped the Houston Astros win the World Series, and was the first rookie position player to win a World Series MVP award after hitting .400 in the Houston Astros’ six-game victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.
Peña was born and raised in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, before he and his family moved to Providence when he was nine.
In the crowd Saturday, were the same people who once cheered for him as a youngster on the field, now cheering for him as a World Series Champion.
“It’s really special. I felt the support of the whole city throughout the whole season and it’s good to be back,” Peña told ABC 6 News.
The 25-year-old received recognition from state officials like Gov. Dan McKee, the Rhode Island Sheriff’s Department, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza, and his former baseball coach and mentor, former Providence Police Cmdr. Thomas Verdi.
“Jeremy Peña. The classy extremely talented yet humble baseball player with that infectious smile,” said Verdi.
Peña credited the city of Providence for the support through his most formative years.
“Hard work will get you started, discipline will take you all the way,” he said.
The rookie MVP said his notorious heart sign, is a direct thank you to his parents.
“My parents have been my inspiration my whole life, my heroes. I’ve never had to leave my house to find role models. I’d always just wake up in the morning and see two of them standing up in my kitchen,” said Peña.