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Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward presents Addison Russell (left) with a key to the city for helping the Chicago Cubs win the World Series. (Photo by Sandra Averhart/WUWF Public Media)

[box type=”default” size=”large”] Fil-Am shortstop puts Florida city on baseball map [/box]

CHICAGO – For putting his resident city of Pensacola, Florida on the baseball map, Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell, a Filipino-American, was given the key to the city by Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward.

Mayor Hayward presented to Addison Russell, a native of neighboring Pace, Florida, with the key to the city. Russells’ extended family resides in Pensacola.

An All-American athlete at Pace High School, Russell led the Pace Patriots to win the 2010 Class 5A state baseball championship. Selected as a first-round draft pick by the Oakland Athletics in 2012, Russell was traded to the Chicago Cubs in 2014 and made his Major League Baseball debut in April 2015.

Hayward presented to Russell with the key to the city in a ceremony held last Nov. 15 at 3 p.m. at City Hall located at 222 West Main Street, Pensacola.

Russell, son of a Philippine-born Milany Deocampo Russell, hit a crucial grand slam in Game 6 of the World Series, forcing Game 7 in Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio, which the Chicago Cubs subsequently won, ending Cubs’ 108-year World Series drought.

When Addison played in the 2010 Under Armour All-America Baseball Game, he was named a Perfect Game Aflac All-American Game participant and a Louisville Slugger First Team All-American in 2011. He was also ranked as No. 18 high school prospect by Baseball America and as the No. 24 high school prospect by Perfect Game. In his final high school baseball season, Russell had a .368 batting average and .532 base percentage.

In November 2011, Russell signed a National Letter of Intent to play college baseball at Auburn University for the Tigers baseball team.

During the 2016 season, Russell, who throws and bats right, had an impressive .238 batting average, 21 homeruns, 95 RBI and 67 runs. With a two-run double in the first inning and a grand slam in the third during Game 6 of the World Series, Russell tied the record for most RBIs in a World Series game on Nov. 1 and helped Chicago force a Game 7.

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Joseph is a former reporter of the Manila Bulletin, former president of the Rizal-Metro Manila Reporters Association and former president of the Chicago chapter of the National Press Club of the Philippines. A native of Sorsogon, Philippines, he and his family now live in Chicago. A prolific reporter, Lariosa writes a column and news stories for the Filipino Star News and other Filipino community newspapers in the US as well as for GMA News and the Manila Bulletin.

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