West New York honors Spanish play-by-play announcer for the New York Yankees 

The town also issued another proclamation to local sports legend Jackie Gilloon

West New York has issued two proclamations honoring locals for their contributions to sports both in town and in the major leagues.

Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez and the Board of Commissioners presented the proclamation to sports announcer Jorge Lima at its October 19 meeting. Better known by his stage name Rickie Ricardo, Ricardo is the Spanish language radio play-by-play voice for the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Eagles.

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“If you don’t know Rickie, Rickie Ricardo is the play-by-play voice of the New York Yankees in Espanol,” Rodriguez said. “I’ve known Mr. Ricardo for a couple of years now. Most recently, he called a very important game in Yankee history in calling Aaron Judge’s home run.”

Rodriguez briefly spoke on why Ricardo was receiving the resolution. Ricardo is not only an important part of the Yankees sports apparatus, but also a West New York resident.

“I think Mr. Ricardo represents our community beautifully,” Rodriguez said. “He has lived here for some time now, very connected to the community. Obviously West New York is a community that loves the game of baseball.”

According to Rodriguez, West New York is hotbed of support for the Yankees, with a vibrant past when it comes to the sport of baseball. As such, he felt it was fitting to give Ricardo the proclamation.

“There are many Yankee fans in West New York,” Rodriguez said. “We have a rich history when it comes to the sport of baseball. So I thought it was only appropriate that someone who represents his community so well, and representing the New York Yankees and the game of baseball in general, all while doing it in Espanol, merited a proclamation.”

Honoring Rickie Ricardo

Rodriguez noted that Ricardo has called many notable football events in addition to baseball, such as the Eagles’ Jake Elliots‘s 61-yard game ending field goal in 2017, and the Chicago Bear’s Cody Parkey’s infamous “double-doink” missed field goal against the Eagles in the 2018-2019 NFL playoffs, in addition to Aaron Judge’s 62nd home run in 2022.

Ricardo was actually present at the virtual meeting on Wednesday, October 19. He tuned in just moments before he would be announcing the play-by-play action in Spanish as the Yankees faced off against the Houston Astros.

“We thank you for your time,” Rodriguez said. “Luckily, you do have a hard out because the Yankees are playing in about 40 minutes. You have a deadline because, clearly, you’re live on the air. So we’re not going to take too much of your time.”

Rodriguez noted that the town would present the proclamation when Ricardo returned successfully from Houston, to which Ricardo added “hopefully.” While the Yankees ultimately lost to the Astros, West New York is still a winner because Ricardo calls it home.

“Thank you for taking the time to receive us and sharing this time with us,” Rodriguez said. “Mr. Ricardo, you are a part of baseball history, clearly part of Yankee history, and now part of West New York sports history. We are presenting this proclamation to you for your outstanding representation of your community as it pertains to the Yankees and the game of baseball in general.”

The West New York Board of Commissioners met via Zoom on Wednesday, October 19.

Ricardo praises West New York and town’s leadership

After Rodriguez spoke, Ricardo himself said a few words.

“It is an absolute honor and pleasure to accept this proclamation on my behalf and everyone that works with me,” Ricardo said. “Several of my producers are also in the area. I am proud to call West New York, New Jersey my home.”

Ricardo was born and raised in West New York. Although he moved away at one point, he couldn’t stay away and eventually moved back home.

“As a young [man] me and my family were there,” Ricardo said. “And as many of us, we moved to Florida. But I came back. I’ve been on Boulevard East for the past 15 years. I love making West New York my home.”

When Ricardo is not on the road with the Yankees or Eagles, he frequents many West New York establishments.

“I support our local businesses. I get my haircut in West New York,” Ricardo said. “I buy my groceries in West New York. I do everything right there, if not on Park Avenue on Bergenline.”

Ricardo also praised Rodriguez and his administration for their leadership in town, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ricardo offers to support local Little League’s opening ceremonies

“Let me make very clear, that under your leadership, and the leadership of the ladies and gentlemen that are participating in this meeting, the commissioners, from the police, to everyone in this town, our bounce back from the pandemic has been outstanding,” Ricardo said. “I salute every one of you for your efforts. We’re living in very difficult times, and through your leadership, we are coming out the other end of this thing, hopefully, and with God’s help, in a much better place than we were ever before. I’m just proud to be a very small part of it.”

Lastly, Ricardo thanked the board again, and hoped to be involved with the West New York Little League’s opening ceremonies next season.

“Next year, when the youngsters get ready to start playing ball in West New York Little League, I would be proud to be a part of the opening ceremonies,” Ricardo said. “I know the Yankees would too, they’ll support us. We’ll have Yankee caps and maybe some tickets for the youngsters. We’ll do something very, very nice… I am proud to make West New York my home. I thank you for this honor… I couldn’t be more full of gratitude than I am right now”

Rodriguez was ecstatic: “We’re looking forward to that. We appreciate you extending that. We have our opening day ceremony somewhere in April, the second or third week. We would be more than happy to invite you and maybe crown some of these kids West New York Yankees little leaguers. Best of luck to you. Go Yankees. Congratulations.”

Following that, Ricardo concluded: “Thank you mayor, thank you Board of Commissioners. We are about 15 minutes away from our pregame show, and we’re one series away from being back in the World Series. So go Yankees… and go West New York!’”

Jack “Jackie” Gilloon, photo

Jack “Jackie” Gilloon honored by town too

The board also approved a resolution honoring Jack “Jackie” Gilloon. On Saturday, October 15, the proclamation was awarded on behalf of the late Gilloon at the basketball courts renamed in his honor at Washington Park between Hudson and Palisades Avenues and 66th and 67th Streets.

Gilloon, a Hudson County basketball legend, passed away in January of this year at the age of 65. Previously, Gilloon was inducted into the Hudson County Sports Hall of Fame in 2002, for playing on the Memorial High School basketball team from 1971 to 1974.

After graduating from Memorial High School in West New York having led the Tigers to three consecutive North Hudson championships and the Hudson County championship in 1973, he was one of Coach Frank McGuire’s premier point guards from 1975 to 1978 at the University of South Carolina, finishing with 1,125 points and the all-time assist leader.

While Gilloon was drafted by the Denver Nuggets of the NBA, he didn’t make the team and instead played professional basketball in Argentina for four years. After retiring, he then became a teacher at P.S. No. 2 in West New York.

“We had a park court renaming that the commissioners were present for,” Rodriguez said. :We had a great event. We have renamed the basketball courts at Washington Park, more locally known as P.S. 4 Park or 66th Street Park, in his honor. Jackie Gilloon was the epitome of a local legend. So that’s what the proclamation was for.”

Following that, Rodriguez concluded the brief meeting thanking his administration. This was a rather short meeting for the board, devoid of any ordinances or public comment.

“I want to thank everyone for what they continue to do in keeping our plan in moving West New York forward, keeping taxes stable, improving our facilities and services, and continue to do right by our residents,” Rodriguez said. “We are pushing our projects through. Our deadlines seem to be holding, So we want to thank everybody for their efforts in keeping this ship moving forward successfully.”

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

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