Cleveland Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco didn’t need his glove or a baseball to win over the crowd at Luis Muñoz Marin School.
The major leaguer took a break from the mound on Sept. 16 to donate a mound of books and help mark the start of national Hispanic Heritage Month at the school, which has a large Hispanic enrollment. Hispanic Heritage Month continues through Oct. 15.
“We want the kids to get really excited about literacy,” Principal Ricardo Torres said. “All the kids needed to see him and understand that he wouldn’t be where he is if he didn’t show that grit and determination.”
The pitcher spoke to students about the importance of education and explained how reading helped him learn English and improve his game after growing up in Venezuela. Carrasco visited many classrooms where excited students asked him questions in Spanish. He spent several hours at the school reading with his some of his biggest fans and signing plenty of autographs.
“To see those kids laughing and screaming, I think the happiness of those kids is more important than anything else,” Carrasco said.
Carrasco’s contributions to the community on and off the field earned him a 2015 Roberto Clemente award nomination. Fans can cast their vote right now by clicking here.
Carrasco plans to build a strong partnership with Luis Muñoz Marin and hopes to return for more visits throughout the school year.