After the New York Mets recent blockbuster trade, superstar Francisco Lindor can make a larger than life impact on the Puerto Rican community in New York.
With the New York Mets‘ recent addition of shortstop Francisco Lindor, the 27-year old superstar now joins a rich history of Puerto Rican stars to don a Mets uniform. There is an extensive list of Puerto Rican players that have played in Queens over the years but now Lindor is in a prime position to become the greatest Puerto Rican player to ever wear orange and blue.
When sorting through the players that hail from the beautiful island of Puerto Rico that have played for the Mets, you immediately think of the two greats in Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado who each left their mark on the franchise in their own special ways. We’ve also been treated to the likes of Angel Pagan, Jose Valentin, Pedro Feliciano, and even Roberto Alomar despite Alomar not playing up to the expectations that many Mets fans had anticipated. But make no mistake about it, when you look at the bigger picture Alomar is a Hall of Famer who is considered a legend on the island of Puerto Rico.
While I don’t have the time to name every single Puerto Rican player who has played for the Mets at some point in their career, make no mistake about it that there is a strong pedigree of players from the small Caribbean island who have made contributions to this franchise over the years. Being a fellow Puerto Rican myself, those players listed above and many of the other players who have come from the island have always been my favorite to root for on the field.
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Currently, the Mets have a couple of players on the active roster with Puerto Rican roots such as closer Edwin Diaz, catcher Tomas Nido, as well as pitchers Seth Lugo and Marcus Stroman.
However, with all respect to all four of those players, Lindor’s star power moves the needle for the majority of the Puerto Rican community in New York to sport a Mets ball cap over a New York Yankees hat.
In a market that contains a sizeable Puerto Rican population, Lindor will be playing in a city that will almost feel like home and he can closely connect the franchise back with the Puerto Rican community in a way we haven’t seen since 2006.
During the 2006 season, Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran were an imposing duo in the middle of the Mets lineup as well as two of the biggest stars in baseball at the time and played a huge role in leading the organization to one of the more memorable seasons in franchise history.
Moving forward, it was already a huge deal to the Latin community as a whole to have a woman such as Alex Cohen, the wife of new owner Steve Cohen who comes from Puerto Rican descent, take the lead of the Mets Foundation. Now with the addition of Lindor, two Puerto Rican public figures make up an incredible tag-team duo that can take the franchise to new and improved heights.
Francisco Lindor can almost be attributed to Mr. Puerto Rico for the community work he does back home. Lindor has hosted charity events to benefit the children of Puerto Rico, held baseball clinics for the youth, as well as contributed to the relief efforts after Hurricane Maria devastated much of the island. If there is a way to give back to the island, Lindor will find a way to make it happen.
That Mr. Puerto Rico designation can be attributed to Lindor’s on-field personality as well as any opportunity he gets he’s proud to pay homage to where he came from. A perfect example was MLB Player’s Weekend back in 2019 when Lindor took the opportunity to honor his home country through his baseball bat as well as the gear he was wearing on the field. When speaking to Fox Sports Cleveland about his decision of representing Puerto Rico during MLB Player’s Weekend, Lindor was more than happy to share his reasoning next to a hanging Puerto Rican flag in his locker.
“It’s 100 percent, Puerto Rico, stated an enthusiastic Lindor. “I love Puerto Rico. Everything I do is for them. Right now, I’ve got it on the batting gloves as well. Everything’s Puerto Rico. I have it on my bat. It’s 100 percent, Puerto Rico. I love my island.”
The enthusiasm and pride that Lindor has for his home country in a market such as New York City will only further captivate his star power, not only for the Puerto Rican and Latin community in New York but the global Latin community. If Lindor wasn’t already considered an international superstar he is well on his way to becoming one now that he has landed in one of the biggest markets in the entire world.
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Francisco Lindor wears Puerto Rico on his sleeve as a badge of honor and his ability to connect with such a passionate community of people could grow a Puerto Rican fanbase that the organization has never previously witnessed. This recent Mets trade improves the on-field product significantly with Lindor in the lineup, but when you look at the overall view of this move this trade has the ability to transform an entire community as a whole as well.