Last September, the Caribbean and Puerto Rico in particular was devastated by Hurricane Maria, one of the deadliest and most destructive storms in memory. Although the news coverage and donation efforts have largely fallen off in recent weeks and months, there is still much work to do to restore Puerto Rico and their citizens’ day-to-day lives. Much of the island is still without power and in need of any aid it can receive. On Tuesday, Alex Cora and other members of the Red Sox organization answered that call as a group led by the new manager visited Cora’s hometown of Caguas. He was joined by Chris Sale, Christian Vazquez and Rick Porcello along with Boston mayor Marty Walsh.
The group, with some help from JetBlue, landed in Puerto Rico with almost ten tons of supplies, including the following:
- Medical supplies and vaccines for Hospital Pediatrico Universitario (HOPU) in San Juan
- Water filtration systems
- First Aid kits
- Canned and dried foods
- Hygiene products
- Assorted baseball equipment and apparel donated by New Balance, Franklin, and 47 Brand.
Upon arriving, Cora and the rest of the group was joined by Red Sox minor leaguers Rusney Castillo and Ivan De Jesus Jr. along with assistant GM Eddie Romero. Cora, understandably, was thrilled about being able to do this for the place he grew up, a place where he still lives in the offseason and a place that is home to many friends and family who are suffering in the aftermath of Maria. In fact, he said that he was “More excited about this day than Opening Day.” Porcello, meanwhile, commented that as soon as he heard about this trip, he wanted to know where he could sign up.
There is plenty to be cynical with this Red Sox team this offseason, and really all the time. All of us, myself included, get that way from time to time. This was undoubtedly a tremendous act from Cora and the rest of the group, and they should be commended for this. Of course, more work still needs to be done for the island and the region as a whole, and hopefully in addition to the supplies brought to Puerto Rico this trip also brought some awareness to that fact.
Below is a brief video with some moments and interviews from the trip, courtesy of NESN.