Roberto Fontánez-Salgado, born and raised in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, is an accomplished sports enthusiast. From a young age, Roberto's passion for sports was ignited when he joined the Little Leagues and it hasn’t stopped ever since. In 2000, he moved to Holyoke, Massachusetts, where he made the transition to playing softball. During his journey, he met his wife, Gilda Gizela Fontanez, and together they are the proud parents of three daughters: Dianne, Giselle, and Ailani. Their commitment to community service is as strong as their shared love for sports, with the unique memory of getting married during a baseball game.
Roberto's sporting career spans 16 years, during which he played on various league teams. In 2018, he established the Springfield Old Timers Softball League, curating a fun and competitive game of medium-pitch softball for players over 40. Serving as the league's founder, Roberto has overseen all operations with dedication, fostering a safe environment that brings together players and their families. The organization's primary purpose is to keep the sport active while prioritizing unity, respect, and imparting valuable lessons to the children who frequent the park.
Under Roberto's exceptional leadership, the Springfield Old Timers Softball League has flourished, expanding from five to ten teams, creating more opportunities for passionate players. He has shown unwavering dedication to philanthropy, organizing fundraisers for the Shriners Children's Hospital, supporting Santo Domingo with sports equipment, and initiating a heartwarming campaign for underprivileged children in Brazil. Roberto also nurtures young talent through his sponsorship and volunteer work for the Miracle League of Western, Ma, ensuring optimal playing conditions at the softball park. Together with sponsors and the city of Springfield, he celebrates the achievements of local young athletes during the annual Softball Classic.
Above all, Roberto remains devoted to preserving his rich cultural heritage. Through his actions and teachings, he aims to inspire children and serve as a positive role model, ensuring the continued celebration of their shared culture. Roberto Fontánez-Salgado's unwavering dedication and remarkable achievements have made a lasting impact in sports and community service, inspiring others to follow in his footsteps.
Please join us in congratulating Roberto Fontánez-Salgado as this year’s Sports Ambassador.