It's no secret that the New York Mets have had a rich Latino culture embedded within the organization over the last 30 years. Notable players include the likes of Jesse Orosco, Johan Santana, Edgardo Alfonzo, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, Pedro Martinez, among a great deal of many others that I know am respectfully missing. That tradition of having a Latino rich culture inside the clubhouse has carried over into 2022 with the way the current roster is constructed.
Some notable Latino players that will have a heavy influence, not only in the clubhouse but also within the community, include Francisco Lindor, Robinson Cano, Eduardo Escobar, Carlos Carrasco, Starling Marte, and Edwin Diaz.
All of these players listed above will in some way have a major impact on the club both on and off the field, but they will also be responsible with other leaders on the ballclub for re-establishing a new culture in the clubhouse after last year's collapse. They each are also respected across baseball amongst their peers, and they have been one of the many reasons that Citi Field has recently become a desirable destination.
The influence of Latino players in the Mets clubhouse continues to increase as the game of baseball grows rapidly across the globe.
For example, Robinson Cano's presence on the Mets roster was a big reason why free agent Starling Marte had signed a deal with the organization this winter. We also can't forget Javy Baez's outspoken desire to play for the Mets last season before ultimately being dealt to Queens at the deadline to reunite with one of his best friends in Francisco Lindor.
Each one of these players will look to continue the previous success of many Latino stars who have donned the orange and blue before them. However, it's fair to argue that no player's success matters more to this organization this season and beyond than star shortstop Francisco Lindor as his record-setting 10-year $341 million contract begins to kick in this season.
The game of baseball continues to grow globally and many of the Latino players on the Mets roster are a big reason for the continued growth, especially in our home market with their own influence. In a bountiful Latin community such as New York City, it's great to see stars on the Mets that can connect to many of the Hispanic demographic of fans that are in the seats at Citi Field night in and night out.
With close to a quarter of all Major League Baseball players being of Latin descent, the responsibility to grow the game falls on these players' shoulders. According to a 2021 study by Statista, 31% of Hispanic MLB fans considered themselves "avid fans" which was the highest number out of every ethnic group polled. In comparison, 21% of all white MLB fans polled considered themselves "avid fans" which was second to Hispanic fans.
Off of the field, the Mets also have a well-known Latino Leaders Program, which aims to utilize the appeal of the Mets and their Latino players to motivate, cultivate and empower Latino students to become exemplary leaders in their schools and their communities. Many, if not all, of the Latino players on the Mets roster, will have a heavy hand in this program off the field as well, which will connect many of these students to the beautiful game of baseball.
This type of program is a progressive continuation of the off-field work that has been done to establish relationships in local communities around the city. Carlos Delgado, Johan Santana, Carlos Beltran, and Pedro Martinez are some of the former players that each had their own foundations for a wide variety of causes that they were heavily involved in.
The Mets' long-standing Latino influence both on and off of the field will continue into 2022 and beyond, especially with the stars on the current roster. It may even be fair to say this is still just the beginning stages of the Latino influence that the organization has experienced, as the game continues to grow worldwide.
As Latino players continue to connect with fans more than they have in the past via social media, sponsorship deals, and charities, it should be expected for more Latino players to continue to make a local and global impact for this organization in the years ahead.