By Fred Guzman
Little League International has named Mike and Joycelyn Victorino, whose son Shane, is a star member of the big-league Philadelphia Phillies, as the 2011 recipients of the of the George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year Award.
“When our boys were growing up, we felt like it was our obligation and responsibility to get involved by volunteering,” Joycelyn Victorino said on the Little League website. “During Shane and Mikey’s Little League years, my husband would be a coach or manager, while I was team mom and handled my children’s team’s finances.”
“We are extremely humbled and truly grateful to receive this award,” Mike Victorino said. “Many other Little League parents, throughout the world, are equally deserving.”
The Victorinos will be recognized during a breakfast and on-field ceremony at the 2011 Little League Baseball World Series in South Williamsport, Pa. The 65th World Series will be played Aug. 18-28.
“We wanted our boys to play organized sports and Shane played Little League from the time he was five, right through high school,” Joycelyn Victorino said. “That boy was unbelievably committed. When others were going to the beach he was going to practice or to play a game.
“I would even feel sorry for him because he gave up a lot of his fun time to play, but he understood the commitment,” she said. “We constantly reminded Mikey and Shane about good character and that every person on a team is important. Mike and I believe every person has a contribution to make to the team no matter what their capability.”
The George and Barbara Bush Little League 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.