41st Annual Induction Banquet
In the United States, there are Sports Halls of Fame that honor professional and amateur athletes in football, basketball, track, tennis, baseball and other sports. There are also ethnic halls of fame that recognize outstanding athletes from different groups including Italian, Jewish, Irish and blacks to name a few. But, there was not a single sports hall of fame that would recognize, honor and salute the outstanding accomplishments/achievements and contributions of our Latino/Hispanic Sports Heritage not only from the United States but also those who came to this country from Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Central and South America and from the vast talent from the Caribbean Islands. The Latin-American International Sports Hall of Fame/Salon de Ia Fama Latinoamericano del Deporte was organized in Laredo, Texas in 1974. At first it was to celebrate, honor and promote local and regional individuals who had excelled at their particular sport but soon it opened the doors to include National and International Professional Athletes. It also recognizes as Sportsman of the Year individuals who continue to preserve and enhance our Latino culture, values and educational opportunities for our youth and who contribute to the betterment of the City of Laredo and South Texas. There have been since its inception an equal recognition of women athletes inductees. It was important to find role models for our youth and the organizers wanted to include all ages, regardless of sex in their programs. The Latin Hall was also created to promote economic development and stimulate business activity in downtown Laredo when local businesses are contracted to provide services to our inductees, their families and guests who visit Laredo during the annual 3-day welcome reception, media luncheon and induction banquet celebration weekend. Through the years. (1975-2014), and with limited amount of funds the organization has, had the opportunity to help the youth of our community with scholarships and other youth activity fundraisers. Plans are to have a Latin Sports International Hall of Fame Museum (downtown) (soon) which will be a first for the United States and to provide clinics (free of charge) to instruct our youth in different sports.