#GoingToBat: Carlos Carrasco helps build a stronger generation

Indians starter Carlos Carrasco, who grew up learning to pitch in Venezuela and reached the Major Leagues with the Phillies at age 22, likes to show that if you work hard and pursue your dreams, anything can happen.

The goal the hard-throwing right-hander most recently realized was U.S. citizenship. For months, teammates including Jason Kipnis and Mike Napoli peppered him with questions. Then, last week, Carrasco passed the test.

It was the kind of example Carrasco likes to provide for the kids he helps through the Carlos Carrasco Foundation, whose mission is to provide high-quality, early-childhood programs to afford kids their best opportunity to succeed.

Carrasco and his family believe that investing in America's children during their most crucial growing stage will result in stronger families and healthier children. In turn, those folks will be in better position to positively impact their own communities.

Through community events, the Carlos Carrasco Foundation provides opportunities for parents to instill in their children the importance of education.

As part of the Carlos Carrasco Foundation's "Back to School Celebration," the Foundation distributed school supplies to Cleveland-area students who could not afford the basics needed for their education.

The Foundation also hosts the "Stay and Play Room" event at the Cleveland Public Library Woodland. Parents and their preschool children are invited to the Woodland Wonderland Stay and Play Room to promote parent-child engagement.

The preschool-like setting helps stimulate language and motor skills, emphasizing that parents are their children's first teacher.

Even while Carrasco was injured in July, he visited children at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital.

The Carlos Carrasco Foundation also teamed up with the United Way for the "Stuff the Bus" initiative. Carrasco visited Luis Munoz Marin -- a dual-language, K-8 CMSD Investment School -- to read to the students in Spanish. To further his effort to promote literacy, Carrasco donated several hundred brand new children's books to the school's library.

Carrasco, who was fifth in the AL last season with 216 strikeouts, striking out more than 10 batters per nine innings, has risen to the top of his chosen profession. Now he's providing the foundation for kids to succeed in their own pursuits.

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Major Leaguers are #GoingToBat for causes near and dear to them, as they personify the Players Trust's motto to "care, act and inspire." To learn more about the charitable interests and activities of Carlos Carrasco and other Major Leaguers, please visit the Players Trust's website.