ABOUT THE JOHAN SANTANA FOUNDATION

Johan Alexander Araque Santana, Former MLB Pitcher for Minnesota Twins and Mets, Entrepreneur, and Co-Founder & Chairman of the Board of the Johan Santana Foundation.

Born and raised in Tovar, Merida, Venezuela, Johan is the second of five children. He attended Liceo Jose Nucete Sardi High School in Venezeula where he played centerfield. He attended a baseball academy in Guacara, Venezeula.

In 1994, he was discovered by Andres Reiner, a scout working for the Houston Astros. Reiner became interested in Johan when he was a centerfielder. He was impressed with Johan’s footwork, arm speed and ease on the field. Reiner believed that Johan had something special and had a chance to make it in the major leagues. Reiner followed up and took the extra step of visiting Johan in his hometown of Tovar, Venezuela and getting to know the Santana family. Ultimately, Reiner signed Johan, then-16 years old, to a $15,000 contract. In 1999, the Florida Marlins selected Johan in the Rule 5 draft. Thereafter, Johan was traded to the Minnesota Twins, was given #57 and on April 3, 2000, Johan made his Major League Baseball debut with the Minnesota Twins. In 2003, he became one of their starting pitchers. Johan’s pitching repertoire included an 88-94 mph fastball along with a circle changeup, generally considered his best pitch, and a slider.

Johan went on to play 8 seasons in the American League with the Minnesota Twins before moving to the National League and playing 4 more seasons with the New York Mets. Johan won 2 AL Cy Young (2004 & 2006) Awards, earned a pitching triple crown (2006), Major League Baseball wins leader (2006) 3x Earned Run Averages leader (2004, 2006, 2008), 3x AL Strikeout leader (2004-2006), a Rawlings Gold Glove (2007), and made 4 appearances in MLB’s All-Star Game (2005-2007, 2009). On June 1, 2012, Johan threw a no-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals, which is to date the only no-hitter in New York Mets history. His last Major League Baseball appearance was August 17, 2012 for the New York Mets. His Major League Baseball statistics was a win-loss record of 139-78. Earned run average of 3.20 and 1,988 strikeouts.

Johan is married to Yasmile Santana whom he has known since he was nine years old. They have 2 daughters and 1 son.

 

Johan Alexander Araque Santana, Former MLB Pitcher for Minnesota Twins and Mets, Entrepreneur, and Co-Founder & Chairman of the Board of the Johan Santana Foundation.

Born and raised in Tovar, Merida, Venezuela, Johan is the second of five children. He attended Liceo Jose Nucete Sardi High School in Venezuela where he played centerfield. He attended a baseball academy in Guacara, Venezuela.

In 1994, he was discovered by Andres Reiner, a scout working for the Houston Astros. Reiner became interested in Johan when he was a center fielder. He was impressed with Johan’s footwork, arm speed and ease on the field. Reiner believed that Johan had something special and had a chance to make it in the major leagues. Reiner followed up and took the extra step of visiting Johan in his hometown of Tovar, Venezuela and getting to know the Santana family. Ultimately, Reiner signed Johan, then-16 years old, to a $15,000 contract. In 1999, the Florida Marlins selected Johan in the Rule 5 draft. Thereafter, Johan was traded to the Minnesota Twins, was given #57 and on April 3, 2000, Johan made his Major-League Baseball debut with the Minnesota Twins. In 2003, he became one of their starting pitchers. Johan’s pitching repertoire included an 88-94 mph fastball along with a circle changeup, generally considered his best pitch, and a slider.

Johan went on to play 8 seasons in the American League with the Minnesota Twins before moving to the National League and playing 4 more seasons with the New York Mets. Johan won 2 AL Cy Young (2004 & 2006) Awards, earned a pitching triple crown (2006), Major League Baseball wins leader (2006) 3x Earned Run Averages leader (2004, 2006, 2008), 3x AL Strikeout leader (2004-2006), a Rawlings Gold Glove (2007), and made 4 appearances in MLB’s All-Star Game (2005-2007, 2009). On June 1, 2012, Johan threw a no-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals, which is to date the only no-hitter in New York Mets history. His last Major League Baseball appearance was August 17, 2012 for the New York Mets. His Major-League Baseball statistics was a win-loss record of 139-78. Earned run average of 3.20 and 1,988 strikeouts.

Johan is married to Yasmile Santana whom he has known since he was nine years old. They have 2 daughters and 1 son.

Yasmile Santana, Co-Founder and Director – Community Volunteer

Philanthropist and community volunteer.  Born and raised in Tovar, Venezuela. She holds a special affinity for community and believes in contributing to the betterment of the lives of the children.  In 2000, she married Johan Santana and together they became actively involved in charitable outreach in both the United States and Venezuela.  El Cyonazo is her special gift to the children of Tovar.  Today, she is the proud parent of her own three beautiful children (2 girls and 1 boy).

Edward L. Greenberg, President and Founding Board Member –Executive Vice President of TLA Worldwide

Co-founded Peter E. Greenberg & Associates, Ltd. In 1997 and served as its Chief Financial Officer till it was merged with The Legacy Agency and was acquired by TLA Worldwide. During his tenure with Peter E. Greenberg & Associates, he ran the daily financial operation of the firm, a sports agent group ranked #1 by Forbes magazine. As a certified baseball player agent, he has honed his skills in researching and preparing key statistical date for both contract negotiations and arbitration cases. His expertise also includes players from Latin America and Asia. He has over 10 years of experience in International Banking and Trusts as well as extensive background in Banking and Corporate Finance.  

  • BA in Economics from State University of New York at Albany
  • MBA in Finance from Stern Graduate School of Business at New York University

Chris Leible, Vice President of TLA Worldwide

  • Manages and oversees marketing, public relations for players in the Baseball division
  • BS in Sports Management from St. John’s University

Richard Strauss, Treasurer and DirectorManaging Partner, Kaduson, Strauss & Company.

  • Certified Public Accountant with over 30 years of experience in public accounting.
  • BA in Economics from Union College
  • MBA in Accountancy at Baruch College

STAFF

Michelle Gittlen, Esq. – Executive Director

An experienced manager of non-profit organizations. Has served as non-profit Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel of other MLB player and manager Foundations, including the Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation and Jorge Posada Foundation,  

  • Bachelor Arts in English Literature- State University of New York at Albany
  • Juris Doctorate – Brooklyn Law School.

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