Juliano Morales has been receiving a number of awards this year, but none may be as important to him as the Most Improved Player of the Fagan Baseball League.
Last week, Jack Fagan, son of Chick Fagan who founded the league gave out the trophy prior to the all-star game.
“It was important to my dad and others who founded the league to credit where there was extra effort and good attitude,” said Fagan. “Every year we give a trophy to the player who has improved play and effort.”
Twelve year old Morales said he was surprised.
“It feels really good,” he said. “It is quite an honor.”
“We asked coaches in the major to choose an individual who has shown improvement from last year,” said Phil Pepin, league president. “They send letters back on why he or she deserves the award. It could include improvement at home and at school as well. I looked at them all and it was a tough decision.”
Pepin narrowed it down to two players and Fagan made the final decision.
Dan Cummings, one of the coaches of the Phillies that Morales plays on, wrote the letter.
“He’s a good kid and a very good student,” said Cummings. “I’ve been coaching around him since he was in diapers. I coached his older brothers. He’s a very good kid on and off the field. He works hard at all he does.”
Last year Morales played first base for the first time. He struggled both in defense and at the plate. This year that has all changed.
“He really has come around at first base. His batting is now phenomenal,” said Cummings. “He’s gotten a lot of big hits for us and is the cheerleader of the team.”
Alex and Vicki Morales, parents of Juliano, said they were shocked to hear that their son was being nominated for the award.
“All he gets is awards left and right and we are so proud of him,’ said Alex Morales. “When Coach Dan presented the idea of the award we were shocked. I was happy he was nominated whether he won or not.”
Alex received a phone call that Juliano had won and was ecstatic.
“He is excited just to be on the all-star team,” said Alex Morales. “Coach Dan sees something extra in Juliano on the field. I’m overwhelmed.”