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Yankees to welcome Sotomayor, Martinelli

Yankees to welcome Sotomayor, Martinelli

The Yankees announced on Tuesday that they plan to welcome United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Panama President Ricardo Martinelli to throw ceremonial first pitches this weekend at Yankee Stadium.

Sotomayor, a Bronx native, will take the mound on Saturday, prior to the Yankees' game against the Red Sox. Martinelli will perform the honors the evening before, on Friday, as New York opens its important three-game series with Boston.

The invitations are part of the Yankees' continuing celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. On Monday, the Yankees will host an on-field presentation of their annual Hispanic Heritage Month Community Achievement Awards prior to a 7:05 p.m. ET game vs. the Royals.

"Having Justice Sotomayor, a South Bronx native, participate in our yearly Hispanic Heritage Month celebration is very exciting, as she is an inspiration to so many," said Manuel García, the Yankees' director of Latino affairs. "We are proud to welcome her and President Martinelli to our new home."

Sotomayor, 55, is a longtime Yankees fan who has been dubbed as "the judge who saved baseball." In 1995, as a federal trial judge, Sotomayor issued an order that helped end the Major League Baseball strike of 1994-95. In nominating Sotomayor for the Supreme Court last May, President Obama referenced that case.

In a news release, the Yankees said they are proud to once again take part in special events during September to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month.

On Sept. 11, the Latino Sports Writers and Broadcasters Association held their annual awards luncheon in the Yankee Stadium Banquet and Conference Center, honoring Alex Rodriguez. The next day, latinobaseball.com held its annual award presentation during a pregame ceremony, naming Robinson Cano the 2009 MVP. Grammy Award-winning artist John Secada sang the national anthem that evening prior to the Yankees-Orioles game.

Also in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, the September issue of Yankees Magazine, the club's official game program, contains an 11-page feature article titled "The Origin of the Game," which traces the development of the game of baseball in Latin America.

Fans who follow the club on its Spanish-language Web site, www.yankeesbeisbol.com, can check out the special Hispanic Heritage Month section and participate in an online sweepstakes, in which they have the opportunity to win tickets to the final regular season home game at Yankee Stadium on Sept. 30 vs. Kansas City.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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