Marshfield, WI (OnFocus) Randy Montalvo, founder of the youth Sandlot Baseball program in Marshfield, is the recipient of the Jefferson Award for October.
Jefferson Awards recognize individuals on the national and local level who have made an impact in their communities without expecting to be recognized.
A former semi-professional baseball player with the Maui Stingrays, Montalvo started his baseball program about 10 years ago with 45 kids, coaching with an emphasis on instruction. He also directs the Badger State Games baseball tournaments held in Marshfield in June.
Today, the Sandlot Baseball program has grown to nearly 200 kids aged 7-12 years during the summer, and 150 in the winter. Although based at Montalvo’s home in Marshfield, the program draws players from many surrounding communities as well.
“I was surprised,” he said of winning the award, for which he was nominated by a parent. “It’s one thing to get nominated, there’s so many nominees, but to win the award — it’s humbling.”
Over the years, Montalvo has added a baseball diamond, dugouts, and indoor batting cages to his setup, plus bleachers made by the Metal Tech class at Marshfield High School. Since construction on the new athletic facilities in Marshfield meant the program was short a field, a full-sized field started being prepped and groomed in a neighboring farm field for practices.
Any proceeds are poured back into the program. “We keep giving back more and more, and because of that people respond and want to be part of it,” he said.
Montalvo will attend a special awards banquet through WAOW in November. One winner will be chosen to represent the area at the National Jefferson Awards Ceremony in Washington D.C.