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MLB announces activities and community events for 2018 Puerto Rico Series involving Indians and Twins


Hiram Bithorn Stadium panaramic view 2010 photo By Bryce Edwards, CC BY 2.0, https


Bernie Williams, Pedrito Guzmán, Pedro Capó and Mariledya to perform


Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players Association and MB Sports have announced the musical performances, ceremonial first pitches and community events that will celebrate the island of Puerto Rico during the two-game set between the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins on Tuesday, April 17th and Wednesday, April 18th at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan.

“La Borinqueña,” the National Anthem of Puerto Rico, will be performed by Pedrito Guzmán before the first game of the series. The musician and cuatro player, who began his career at age 13, is an island-native known for his contributions to Latin Jazz. “The Star-Spangled Banner” will be performed by five-time All-Star and four-time World Series champion, Bernie Williams. Following his baseball career, the classically-trained guitarist has released two jazz albums and was nominated for a Latin Grammy award.

Carlos Beltrán, a nine-time All-Star and member of the 2017 World Champion Houston Astros, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before game one. Beltrán, a native of Manati, was named the 1999 American League Rookie of the Year and earned the Roberto Clemente Award in 2013 for his community service.

A ceremony to honor local Puerto Rico citizens who went above and beyond the call to help others during Hurricane Maria and its aftermath will be held before the start of the first game. Each honoree will be escorted by a former Major League player from Puerto Rico.

For the second game of the series, Pedro Capó, a Puerto Rican musician and grandson of the late singer Bobby Capó, will perform “La Borinqueña.” Capó joined musical artists Jennifer Lopez, Gloria Estefan and many others for Lin-Manuael Miranda’s “Almost Like Praying” benefit that raised money for the Hispanic Federation and its efforts to help those affected by the hurricane. Puerto Rican pop star Marileyda, winner of 2013 Puerto Rico Idol, will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Game two’s ceremonial first pitch will be thrown out by San Juan-native and four-time Grammy Award nominee, Daddy Yankee. The “Despacito” singer donated $1 million in relief funding following Hurricane Maria.

“These two regular season games will show the world that we are open for business,” said Anaymir Muñoz Grajales, Vice President of MB Sports. “We are excited to have the Twins and the Indians playing in front of a full house at Hiram Bithorn Stadium. Puerto Rico is ready to receive fans from all over to enjoy our hospitality and all that the island has to offer.”

MLB, the MLBPA, the Indians and Twins have all teamed up to give back to Puerto Rico and its people during the Series. From Monday, April 16th through Wednesday, April 18th, various special events, project unveilings, school visits and ceremonies will be held. These include a charity golf event to benefit Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico and Habitat for Humanity, “Players Going Home” visits by Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor and Twins left fielder Eddie Rosario to their old schools, youth-focused PLAY BALL event and a special Puerto Rico RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) game at Hiram Bithorn Stadium, Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico expansion ceremony, Habitat for Humanity Mobile Reponse Units unveiling, and an historic marker in memory of the Legendary Roberto Clemente.

“As a Puerto Rican, it’s an honor and a pleasure to have the opportunity to represent the Minnesota Twins,” said Rosario. “I’m very happy and excited to be able to play in front of my family and friends which haven’t had the opportunity to see me play in person in a Major League game. It will be emotional and bittersweet for me as my grandmother won’t be there, but I know she will be watching me from heaven, these two games will be dedicated to her and I’m looking forward to put on a good show for my people. 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.”

Indians All-Star shortstop Lindor added, “I’ve been looking forward to this opportunity for a long time, and I couldn’t be more excited now that these games are less than a week away. I have said many times that playing in Puerto Rico is a dream come true. 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.”

Representatives from MLB, the MLBPA, the Twins and Indians, Puerto Rican Baseball Legends, and local elected officials are all expected to attend the various events. Additional support by the Indians and Twins is also expected to be announced in connection with the Series.