MLB has done an incredible job in assisting Puerto Rico throughout its rebuilding stages post-Hurricane Maria. The league’s most recent effort? The Puerto Rico Series.
The matchup on April 17-18 in Puerto Rico will feature the Cleveland Indians and the Minnesota Twins in a two-game series at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan.
In a press conference back in January, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz expressed her excitement for the weekend. “Baseball is a very clear game, the rules are clear,” Cruz said. “If you work hard and practice, things will come out the way you want. That’s what we want to do. We want to make sure the world knows that we’re fighting and that little by little, we get back our home.”
MLB president and CEO Dave St. Peter said while the league knows the games can play a small part in helping re-establish some normalcy, it’s hoping to celebrate the island and its history with baseball and show the world that the island is open for business.
On April 17, Pedrito Guzman will sing “La Boriqueña,” the national anthem of Puerto Rico after the Star-Spangled Banner. Houston Astros outfielder Carlos Beltrán will throw the first pitch.
For the game on April 18, Puerto Rican musician Pedro Capo, who played a huge role in raising relief funding for the hurricane, will perform “La Boriqueña,” and reggaeton OG Daddy Yankee, who donated $1 million in relief, will throw the first pitch.
There will also be special community service events in collaboration between the MLB and the MLB Players Association. Francisco Lindor of the Braves and Eddie Rosario of the Twins will host a special Puerto Rico RBI game and return to their childhood schools as part of a youth-focused Play Ball event.
“As a Puerto Rican, it’s an honor and a pleasure to have the opportunity to represent the Minnesota Twins,” Rosario said in a statement from MLB. “I’m happy because we will be able to bring happiness to my island after Hurricane Maria. These two days will be unforgettable for me and the island of Puerto Rico. People are extremely excited and happy to be able to witness Major League Baseball.”
Lindor agreed, saying he’s been looking forward to the opportunity for a while now. “I have said many times that playing in Puerto Rico is a dream come true,” Lindor said. “I can’t wait to take the field in front of the fans in my homeland. I’m sure it is going to be a moment that I’ll never forget.”
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