When Francisco Lindor was 12-years old, he walked into Hiram Bithorn Stadium, 20-miles away from his home in Caguas, Puerto Rico, to watch the 2006 World Baseball Classic. Bernie Williams, Carlos Beltran, and Ivan Rodriguez were just a few of the Puerto Rican Major League heroes that Lindor was able to watch play that day. Lindor, like many children of Puerto Rico, dreamed of one day joining his heroes on that field in San Juan.
For Francisco Lindor, that journey began less than a year later. He moved to Florida as an eighth grader, enrolled in Montverde Academy in Orlando for a better chance to develop his skills as a baseball player, and began his march to Major League stardom with the Cleveland Indians.
Since that day over ten years ago, Lindor joined Williams, Beltran, and Rodriguez as a member of that very same World Baseball Classic. In 2017, Lindor and Puerto Rico came up one game short to the United States, but there wasn’t a better story than their run to the finals, and at the center of that story…
…Francisco Lindor, the master of theatrics, and the owner and author of big-game moments.
For those counting at home, that Lindor home run went up and over the billboards in right field, and Lindor enjoyed every second of that, as he seemingly does with every moment on the baseball diamond.1 But you could tell throughout that series that there was just something special for Lindor and his teammates, playing for the Puerto Rican people.
So when the Francisco Lindor and his Cleveland Indians actually walked onto the field at Hiram Bithorn Stadium on that balmy San Juan Night, you could just imagine what that moment meant for Lindor.
Puerto Rico, devastated by Hurricane Maria just seven months ago, didn’t even know if they could host this game a few months ago, thanks to the second largest power outage in the World’s history. Just last week, a tree knocked out power to almost a million people on the island, which is nearly one-third of the population.
Lindor never misses a chance to give back to his homeland.
While Hurricane Maria seemingly destroyed everything on the island, the two things it couldn’t destroy were the heart of its people, and baseball, and if there were ever two words that described Francisco Lindor, it’s heart and baseball.
When Lindor took to the field last night, you almost knew what was going to happen. While folks were bragging all night long about predicting a Lindor bomb, it was the least suspenseful brag of the night. We all knew how this night was going to end. We knew that his warning track shot in the first was just a warm up. We knew that his strike out in the third was swinging from his heels.
But in the end…we all knew where Lindor would end up, didn’t we?
— Andre Knott (@DreKnott) April 18, 2018