Eva Salinas Celebrates 100 Years Of Legacy And Love On Cinco de Mayo

May 9, 2019

On Sunday the 'Lansing Lugnuts' became the 'Lansing Locos' in honor of Copa de la Diversión, which is a program aimed at connecting professional teams with their diverse communities. The change was fit with a new logo and jersey swap for the team; but it wasn't the only celebration taking place. Eva Salinas celebrated her 100th birthday, becoming one of the oldest living people in Lansing's Hispanic community.

Salinas smiles at the camera during her 100th birthday celebration Sunday at Cooley Law School Stadium.
Credit Al Martin / WKAR-MSU

"Today means to me, a wonderful day! I have never been so happy. I'm here seeing all of my family from different places," said Salinas, who is one of 11 siblings. Four have passed away.

Alonzo Perez, the 82-year-old younger brother of Salinas, never thought he would see this family milestone accomplished by his sister. 

"I never thought that we would see this," said Alonzo Perez. "So help me God, the truth! I never thought that she would live this long, or us would live this long to see her have 100 years."

The celebration took place in the outfield of Cooley Law School Stadium, underneath the Chevrolet Terrace. A Tejano band played in front of a dance floor. And Mexican food was served for those who attended to embrace Salinas on her big day. 

Former Lansing police officer Traci Ruiz (in the teal 'Lansing Locos' jersey) mingles with the crowd on Sunday at the 100th birthday celebration for Eva Salinas.
Credit Al Martin / WKAR-MSU

"During the holidays I learned that she didn't have a place to go, so I'd take her home with us for the holidays. The relationship just continued to develop from there," said Traci Ruiz, a Lansing retired police officer who organized the celebration for Salinas. 

Alonzo Perez, the 82-year-old younger brother of 100-year-old Eva Salinas.
Credit Al Martin / WKAR-MSU

Ruiz met Salinas 26 years ago while working the community policing beat in Eva's neighborhood and since, the two have become family. 

After the celebration, Salinas was honored on the field before the 'Lansing Locos' and 'Beloit Snappers' baseball game that evening. She received a 'Locos' jersey with the number 100 on the back. 






Salinas smiles on the field at Cooley Law School Stadium. She was presented with a 'Lansing Locos' jersey with 100 on the back before the game.
Credit Al Martin / WKAR-MSU
Watch video of the celebration below.