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About The Latin American International Sports Hall of Fame

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.


The Latin American International Sports Hall of Fame was founded in 1975 to recognize individuals with good and proper standing in the community, high morals and values and who have excelled in sports and/or have contributed to the promotion of sports and goodwill in the Latino community.

Latin American International Sports Hall of Fame

47th Annual Induction Banquet





Gateway Girls Little League was established in 1989 which was the first program to locally introduce the world of Softball to the Laredo area. The program successfully ran its first 25-years with the help of its President, Roberto Mancha Sr. The program’s long list of successful achievements includes the 2008 the Big League Softball World Series in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The Gateway Girls 2008 Big League team had a variety of girls from the surrounding Laredo high schools and universities. Manager Roberto Mancha, Sr. and his daughter, Mireya Mancha-Chavez, who led the team as the Big League Head Coach in 2008 hand picked a group of highly dedicated softball athletes. The team included Cristina Mendoza (United), Katelin Thompson (Alexander), Stephanie Rae Rodriguez (Nixon), Gabrielle Espinoza (Alexander), Shelby R. Schunior (LBJ), Jennette L. Casarez (Nixon/TAMIU), Leonor Gonzalez (United), Robyn Colin (Nixon), Candice A. Dunford (United), Erika Lynn Gil (LBJ/TAMIU), and Kimberlee Gutierrez (Nixon).

In the summer of 2008, the team began their journey by traveling to Pearsall, Texas where they defeated the Tri-Cities in a double header, which led them to advance to the Southwestern Regional Tournament. This tournament consisted of four teams, which included the host team Seguin, Texas along with Laredo, Colorado, and Arkansas. In Seguin, Laredo Gateway won the tournament opener 10-9. The Gateway Big Girls won the Southwestern Regional Tournament by defeating Seguin 8-6 in an emotional roller coaster of a game.

Upon arriving to Kalamazoo, the team was greeted with limousines that drove them to the World Series Team Orientation where they received their Southwest uniforms in which they were able to keep and other World Series gear. From there, the team was split into groups of 2 to 3 teammates which were then arranged to stay with host families who eventually become part of our family. The World Series included different events for the team to experience beginning with the opening ceremonies where they won the Team Spirit Award for displaying team spirit and enthusiasm. They then began tournament play competing against Asia Pacific, EMEA, Latin America, Central and Canada. The team then ended their World Series experience and returned to Laredo with countless of memories, history being made, and making Laredo proud!

The Gateway girls made their way to the Big League World Series representing the United States Southwest region. This included the following teams:
Host Team: Kalamazoo/Portage, Michigan
Asia-Pacific: Manila, Philippines
Canada: Windsor, Ontario
Central: Grand Rapids, Michigan
East: Seymour, Connecticut
EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa): Brzeg, Poland
Latin America: San Juan, Puerto Rico
South: Tampa, Florida
Southwest: Laredo, Texas
West: Antelope Valley, California