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21

Jan, 2019

Richard Rosas inducted into PONY Wall of Fame

The City of Laredo, Texas and PONY Baseball and Softball have embraced each other with open arms, during Laredo’s time as the host of the 2017-18 South Zone Softball World Series and 2018 Palomino World Series, as hundreds of baseball and softball families have been welcomed to and treated like family in The Gateway City. This partnership has been thanks to, in large part, Laredo Pony League President Richard Rosas’s can-do attitude that anything is possible. Because of his dedication to and passion for PONY, Rosas received the call to PONY’s Wall of Fame.

“I’m very humbled,” said Rosas. “It’s not a one-man show. I lead the charge, but I know I have great people. It’s just a huge honor to accept this award on behalf of them, because, if it wasn’t for them, from the softball to the baseball, we’re all one team. The Lord Jesus Christ gave me the calling to serve the kids.”

In his 10th year as the President of Laredo Pony League, Rosas said that the league was inspired to join PONY because of the opportunity for its players to participate in tournament play and the league to host. It was an overwhelming joy to him when he first learned, in 2010, that Laredo was awarded hosting rights to a PONY Baseball super regional. Laredo has advanced to the Mustang-9, Bronco-11, Pony-13, Pony, Colt and Palomino World Series in the last decade and has even won the 2011 Pony League World Series.

Under Rosas’s leadership, Laredo Pony League has grown from 48 to 92 teams. Besides the on-field success that the teams are having in tournament play, Rosas believes it is because of the family-like culture that leaders are trying to create within the league and the local community.

“Being a league president, yes, you deal with all of the headaches, but, if you make a difference in one kid’s life, you made a big difference,” said Rosas. “It’s a blessing trying to serve all of these kids. There are a lot of negative things out there. So being a league president, you always have to have a positive outlook.”

“Anybody that volunteers for our league, we try to pass on a positive message. We try to tell the coaches, we don’t know what kind of environment this kid is living in. So, if for just one day, one practice, one game, that’s what it’s about – changing kids’ lives in a very healthy and positive way. At the end of the day, we need to protect every kid out there. That’s what PONY stands for.”

In June of 2017, the City of Laredo announced that it is going to build a youth sports complex that will include eight baseball fields, four softball fields and four multi-use youth baseball/softball fields. Rosas said he is extremely excited for progress on the facility to start this month because, without hesitation, he can say that Laredo is in for a 200-team tournament. He expects the complex to be completed in about a year and a half.

“The City of Laredo means everything, and Webb County, they’re both great sponsors of the league and these huge tournaments coming in,” said Rosas. “We are looking to partner up even more. We talk as coaches, board members, volunteers – I believe, if you are involved in any youth organization, you have to do it for the right reasons. Bottom line. You’re going to have positive results, and we’ve had that. This complex is going to bring in more excitement for the City of Laredo.”

Laredo has successfully hosted the 2017-18 South Zone Softball World Series and 2018 Palomino World Series and is planning to host even more PONY tournaments in the future. Rosas is anticipating what lies ahead this summer, as the Palomino World Series field will be expanded to 10 teams, including a European Zone Champion and a Mexico Host Area Representative from next door neighbor Nuevo Laredo.

“People that went to the baseball park, they said ‘wow,’ they’ve never seen this in Laredo,” said Rosas. “That was just a first taste. We can grow it. At the end of the day, we’re serving the kids. We want it to be the best experience of their lives, and obviously, the parents that come in, let them have a great experience, not only at the ballpark, but in the city itself.”

An owner of a family business, Rosas said it’s his daughter Pamela who keeps him in line between all that he has going on in his life, and he is blessed to have her. He said, as she goes out in the world to eventually start her own career and family someday, he hopes that he has instilled strong family values and to give back to the community.

“I’ve always said we’ve been blessed with a lot of things that other people can’t,” said Rosas. “So, we need to give back. It doesn’t always have to be monetarily. It can be time. That’s number-one in our home. It’s a good thing when you’re helping people who really need it.”

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