On Opening Day 2023, Salvador Perez was named captain of the Kansas City Royals. It was an honor bestowed on only three previous players in club history and reflects the special place Salvador, or “Salvy,” has earned in the hearts of so many for his accomplishments and contributions on the field and off.
All of Perez’s formidable energy and spirit springs from a well of gratefulness that guides him. Because he is grateful for all the opportunities provided to him along the way, Salvy is motivated to make sure others are afforded the same or better. As a catcher, he is centered at home plate, so it should be no surprise that focusing on home comes naturally to him.
Everything for Salvador begins with his birthplace in Venezuela. His personal roots are there, and many aspects of his charity work also live there. Each year, Salvy sponsors the participation of more than 200 kids in a baseball academy in his homeland, in addition to funding dozens of baseball clinics throughout the country. Salvy’s commitments extend well beyond baseball. He has paid for reconstructive surgeries for children born with cleft lips, provided thousands of toys for children’s hospitals and meals for needy families. Salvy also donates funds in support of Venezuelan police officers and their families. He has donated his time coaching clinics for the Carlos Fortuna Organization in Bogotá, Colombia, whose mission is to provide educational training and support to parents, caregivers and families of boys from Latin America who are working to become professional baseball players. The organization is named in honor of former Royals Minor Leaguer Carlos Fortuna who passed away from liver cancer at the age of 22. Salvador’s on-field success has given him visibility, and his character has given him the desire to be a mentor who can make a difference in the lives of so many. And he does just that.
One of Salvy’s proudest personal moments came in 2020 when he became a United States citizen, and he has shown the same giving spirit here in his adopted home, especially in Kansas City. He was a charter sponsor of the Kansas City Urban Youth Academy, making a $1 million donation at the academy’s inception. He has continued his support by making appearances at the facility to both speak and work with underserved youth in Kansas City.
Salvy’s efforts to make the Kansa City community a better place stand out. He has partnered with Braden’s Hope for Childhood Cancer, named for amazing cancer survivor Braden Hofen, to give and receive inspiration from kids fighting pediatric cancer, along with his continued support for Kansas City police officer Sarah Olsen and her battle along with others confronting ALS. It was that personal commitment to Sarah and her family that made Salvy's being named the 2021 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award recipient even more meaningful.
Salvador Perez is many things, among those a World Series Most Valuable Player, eight-time MLB All-Star, five-time Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner, four-time Silver Slugger honoree and more. Salvador is a bridge builder, bringing people together. The Royals captain leads on the field most visibly, but he leads just as profoundly off the field. He does so with a passion, joy and exuberance few in any walk of life can match.