Miami Marlins, Miami Herald honor Ariel Crespo Jr., Jarrett Hyder, Katarina Londono, Juan Carlos Padilla Jr., Cesar Santalo

Miami’s Ariel Crespo Jr. (Coral Park Elementary School), Coral Gables’ Jarrett Hyder (Gulliver Middle School), Sunny Isles’ Katarina Londono (Miami Country Day School), Hialeah Gardens’ Juan Carlos Padilla Jr. (Mater Academy Middle School) and South Miami’s Cesar Santalo (Christopher Columbus High School) were honored during a presentation conducted by the Miami Marlins in conjunction with the Miami Herald.

These outstanding student athletes displayed solid academics in the classroom and sportsmanship on the field, competing in school, rec league and/or travel baseball.

Each recipient received two tickets, complimentary parking, a certificate and an autographed Marlins player card, presented by Marlins second baseman Donovan Solano. They were recognized by Solano and Marlins’ mascot Billy the Marlins near home plate before the Marlins/San Francisco Giants game at Marlins Park.


• Ariel Crespo Jr.

Ariel plays 8U baseball at Latino Americana Baseball Academy.

Playing baseball since he was 4, Ariel is a pitcher for the Latino Americana Baseball Academy 8U baseball team. Passionate about the sport, the 8-year-old’s favorite position is shortstop, and he is a Miami Marlins’ fan, knowing the name of every player on the team.

Aside from baseball, Ariel is an outstanding student. He earned straight A’s, making the Honor Roll all four semesters as a second grader the 2012-13 school year at Coral Park Elementary School. A Miami resident, he is very helpful in the classroom and at home.

• Jarrett Hyder

Jarrett, 13, plays baseball for Gulliver Middle School and the South Florida Contenders travel team.

A dedicated player, he is a pitcher and plays the corners. Displaying an exceptional attitude, he earns good grades in school. As an eighth grader, Jarrett is in Honors courses for engineering and science. A Coral Gables resident, he is a well-rounded student and a Marlins’ fan.

• Katarina Londono

As a sixth grader, Katarina played a few games for the Miami Country Day School varsity softball team. A second baseman, she was the only middle school student-athlete on the varsity squad. She also played volleyball and soccer for her school, and she was an Athlete of the Week.

Academically, Katarina, 11, made the Director’s list for the first quarter and the Headmaster’s list for the fourth quarter. A Sunny Isles resident, she is involved in the Reach for the Stars and Operation Smile programs as well as chorus and orchestra. A multi-talented girl, Katarina was a Summer Camp Counselor in Training.

• Juan Carlos Padilla Jr.

Juan, 13, began playing baseball at age 4 in T-ball. He continued to improve through the years, later making the Mater Academy Junior baseball team and The 305 Sluggers in Miami Lakes.

A Hialeah Gardens resident, he’s earned many trophies such as Best Hitter and is also an improving pitcher. As a seventh grader at Mater Academy Middle School, he demonstrated himself to be dedicated and talented in his studies, too, earning good grades.

• Cesar Santalo

Cesar, 15, plays baseball for the Miami Sharks with Coach Gus Marquetti in Tamiami and for Christopher Columbus High School.

A South Miami resident, he started playing at Red Berry’s Baseball World when he was 3. He also played every season at Conchita Espinosa Academy and was part of the school’s basketball team.

Cesar played on the gold team at the International Baseball Academy. He is in his second season of Fall Ball for Coach Webber at Christopher Columbus High School. In the summer, in addition to competing in baseball tournaments, Cesar rows at the Miami Rowing Club.

He participates in the Christopher Columbus youth group and plans to also join Key Club and The Squires. His freshman year at Columbus, he won a medal for Academic Excellence in English. He is also a talented artist and a respectful young man.

•  YouTube video of the Miami Marlins/Miami Herald August honorees before the Marlins/San Francisco Giants game at Marlins Park.

YouTube Jim Varsallone (jimmyv3 channel)


The Miami Marlins once again teamed with the Sunday Neighbors youth sports section of The Miami Herald to recognize South Florida youth baseball and softball players who demonstrate good or improved grades and sportsmanship. There were three ceremonies with five student athletes honored each time.

Angela Smith, director, Miami Marlins Community Outreach; Juan Leonel Garciga, coordinator, Community Outreach & Youth Baseball; Thomas Padro, intern, Community Outreach; and Sarah Orndorff, intern, Community Outreach were outstanding, organizing a special program for the honorees, which included an on-field ceremony with Marlins mascot Billy the Marlin and a Marlins’ player.

Coaches, school staff, family and friends nominated standout boys and girls.

Read more Miami-Dade Youth Sports stories from the Miami Herald

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