PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WJAR) — World Series MVP Jeremy Peña's achievements this season were celebrated in Providence on Saturday.
The baseball star graduated from Classical High School, next to the Providence Career and Technical Academy where the ceremony was held.
Peña told NBC 10 News that Providence has helped shape him into the person and player he is.
“It’s special you know,” he said. “It’s special because I felt the support of the whole city through the whole season. It’s good to be back."
The shortstop grew up in Providence, moving from the Dominican Republic when he was nine.
Peña had an outstanding rookie baseball season.
He was named MVP of both the World Series and ACLS and ended up with a Gold Glove.
State officials came to congratulate Peña on Saturday, and Providence Sports and Leadership retired his number.
“Thank you for your accomplishment, which is historic," said Gov. Dan McKee. "It is not only historic here in Rhode Island, but the entire baseball world.”
Peña said many life lessons were learned in the capital city through coaches and teammates, many of them cheering him on in the crowd.
“They taught me the value of being punctual and hard work,” he said. “The city has shaped me into the person I am today.”
He said his biggest role models - the ones he sent a heart out to on national television - are his parents.
“They are my heroes and I have never had to leave my house to find roles,” Peña said. “I always just wake up in the morning and see the two of them standing in my kitchen.”