Lindor expands plans to give back with RBI, UYA

Lindor expands plans to give back with RBI, UYA

CLEVELAND -- When the Indians were in St. Petersburg last week, Francisco Lindor invited the Monteverde Academy baseball team to come to Tropicana Field to take in batting practice and stay for one of the Tribe's games against the Rays.

Lindor attended Monteverde -- located outside of Orlando, Fla. -- and wanted to be an example for the players at his old high school. The young shortstop does not want to stop there, either. He is now going to work with Major League Baseball and the RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) program to visit and work with underprivileged youth in Cleveland and on the road.

"Coming up in high school, no one went back to my high school, baseball-wise, to inspire us," Lindor said on Wednesday. "Now that I'm in this position, I feel I can help the kids. ... Being around the kids, trying to help them, talking to them, giving back, I'm big on that. A lot of people helped me throughout my career and they're still helping me right now. Why not give back?"

Lindor hosts his alma mater

On April 28, when the Indians will be in Philadelphia to play the Phillies, Lindor plans on heading to the Phillies' Urban Youth Academy to visit and work with kids there. The shortstop, who was the runnerup for the American League Rookie of the Year Award last season, is also planning an event on May 26 in Cleveland, through the details have yet to be announced.

Lindor is also going to serve as the player ambassador for the "Lindor Smile Squad," which will host a Miracle League athlete at each Indians home game throughout the season, beginning May 16. The program is aimed at providing unique baseball experiences for children and adult athletes with disabilities.

Lindor is also scheduled to appear on MLB Network's new weekly show, "Play Ball," at 10 a.m. ET on April 30. The show, which is hosted by Harold Reynolds and features other analysts, includes one-on-one baseball demonstrations and conversations with personalities from around baseball.

"Growing up, a lot of people helped me," Lindor said. "I was blessed that people helped me. I'm a big believer that God always put someone in front of me to guide me to the next door. He's doing it for me. A lot of people are doing it for me, and I want to do it, too."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.