The Francisco Lindor trade has received a lot of attention over the past week, with a lot of that attention going to Lindor himself, as the Mets brought in one of the brightest young stars in the game. But the other acquisition in the Lindor trade, may prove to be just as big of a move, as bringing in Carlos Carrasco helps solidify the rotation, and adds another easy to root for guy in the clubhouse. Carrasco is not just easy to root for, he’s truly one of the best guys around in Major League Baseball, which can be seen through his charity work.
As David Capobianco wrote earlier this week, Carrasco has been one of the better pitchers in all of baseball over the past seven seasons, and has overcome a lot on his journey to where he is now, including being diagnosed with cancer during the 2019 season. In addition to coming back to the field during the 2019 season after undergoing cancer treatments, Carrasco was awarded with one of baseball’s most prestigious honors, the Roberto Clemente Award. The honor is awarded to an individual who “demonstrates the values Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente displayed in his commitment to community and understanding the value of helping others.”
Carrasco was presented the award during the 2019 World Series after being chosen by Commissioner Rob Manfred, Clemente’s widow Vera, as well as members of the media. However, Carrasco’s journey to receiving the award began five years prior in 2014 after visiting sick children in the hospital with his daughter Camila.
As detailed in this profile in The Athletic by Zack Meisel, it was Camila’s first time ever seeing cancer patients, and when she got home, she started cutting off her hair and told her parents to give it to the kids. From there, Carrasco’s humanitarian efforts took off, as he and his wife started the Carlos Carrasco Foundation here in the U.S. in 2016 with a focus on early-childhood education.
In addition to his foundation in the U.S., Carrasco and his wife also started a second foundation in his native Venezuela. This foundation partners with other groups to help find ways to distribute toys, medical supplies, and other items to people in need in the country. In 2016, Carrasco estimated he had $500,000 worth of medical supplies to distribute to health centers across a dozen states in Venezuela. He and his wife have also traveled the world to countries such as the Dominican Republic, Columbia, Mexico, and India and assisted in the building of schools in each country.
Education remains central to Carrasco’s mission, which can be seen looking at his time in Cleveland. The Ohio Guidestone Stepstone Academy named its school library after him, and over the years he has donated books to local schools, read to young children, and helped install a ramp at the Sunbeam School in Cleveland for students with disabilities. He also donates two $10,000 scholarships to single mothers each year, as well as sending U.S. veterans $5000.
One other thing Carrasco has always maintained doing is visiting sick children in the hospital. After being diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia in June 2019, Carrasco visited the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital and sat down with other leukemia patients. He continued these visits, bringing the kids bobbleheads and signing autographs. He explained he did this because he wanted to serve as a role model for the children he was visiting, and him going out and pitching in a major league game would send the message to stay strong, and to never, ever give up.
Throughout all his off the field endeavors, Carrasco has remained humble. One of the biggest reasons for his off the field work is to set a good example for his five children and to show them what kind of impact one individual can have on other people. When he received the Roberto Clemente Award, Carrasco said “This is something I have dreamed of. I hope to continue giving back to others and inspire more players to help in the community.” This statement echoes what Carrasco has repeatedly said, which is that he doesn’t plan on ever stopping giving back, saying “No matter what I’m going through. There’s nothing stopping me from contributing to the community.”
It’s clear that in the trade for Francisco Lindor and Carrasco, the Mets got two of the best guys in the league. What’s even more clear is they landed one of the best people in the league in Carrasco. While he is expected to perform at a high level on the mound, there’s no doubt he will leave his mark in the New York community and make Mets fans proud. As the Steve Cohen era is set to start in 2021, Carrasco will be right at the forefront of it, and there’s not a better person to be in that position than Carrasco.