Lindor seizing chance to give back
GURABO, Puerto Rico — Indians star Francisco Lindor held a baseball in his hand, ready to pitch, and asked the young boy standing at home plate if he knew how to swing a bat. The kid said no. The kid might have been fibbing. Lindor’s soft-toss pitch became a line drive, and the kid at Escuela Villa Marina — the same grammar school that Lindor attended years ago — looked at the All-Star shortstop and grinned as onlookers applauded.
“This is what it’s about,” said. Lindor
The Indians and Twins are in Puerto Rico to play a two-game series in San Juan starting Tuesday night. But they know they’re serving a larger purpose on this trip, which is why many players from both teams ventured out among the Puerto Rican people Monday to give back to an island that was robbed of so much by Hurricane Maria last September.
Lindor went back to his first school in Gurabo, his hometown. The Twins’ Jose Berrios, who will start on the mound in his homeland Wednesday night, visited a children’s hospital in San Juan and was flanked by many of his teammates. Twins outfielder Eddie Rosario, like Lindor, also went home — he was headlining a clinic in Guayama.
“It’s an honor. It’s a privilege,” Lindor said at the school where some local residents were standing outside the chain-link fence more than an hour before he arrived, hoping to just catch a glimpse of Gurabo’s favorite son. “I’m blessed to be here. It’s a dream and I’m excited. Stuff like that is something I always wanted to do.
“As soon as I was a professional baseball player, I always wanted to come back and do something like this ... for the kids, for the community.”