MLB.com Columnist

Jesse Sanchez

Amid postseason, Beltran's heart in Puerto Rico

Veteran continues to aid relief after Hurricane Maria

Amid postseason, Beltran's heart in Puerto Rico

Carlos Beltran's mind is on the Yankees and the first game of the American League Championship Series presented by Camping World, but his heart remains in Puerto Rico as it recovers from the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria.

"Everyone knows the situation in Puerto Rico is very critical, and it has been 20-something days since the hurricane, and there are still people in need of water and there are people still in need of food," Beltran said. "There is only about 10 percent of the island with power, and about 40 percent of the island has potable water. There are still a lot of places that people are still suffering."

Game Date Results Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 13 HOU 2, NYY 1 WATCH
Gm 2 Oct. 14 HOU 2, NYY 1 WATCH
Gm 3 Oct. 16 NYY 8, HOU 1 WATCH
Gm 4 Oct. 17 NYY 6, HOU 4 WATCH
Gm 5 Oct. 18 NYY 5, HOU 0 WATCH
Gm 6 Oct. 20 HOU 7, NYY 1 WATCH
Gm 7 Oct. 21 HOU 4, NYY 0 WATCH

On Thursday, MLB chartered a FedEx cargo plane filled with supplies such as water, diapers, baby food and other items to the town of Aguadilla in the northwest part of the island. The goods will be distributed to the families affected by the hurricane through a joint effort between the Carlos Beltran Foundation and U.S. Homeland Security.

To date, Beltran and his wife, Jessica, have helped coordinate the distribution of supplies for six planes full of goods to the island through their foundation. The organization is expecting another plane full of supplies soon and will cook meals for 2,000 families at the outfielder's baseball academy and high school, located in Florida, Puerto Rico, this weekend.

Specifically, the Beltran Foundation has distributed goods to the Puerto Rican municipalities of Manati (Beltran's hometown), Barceloneta, Florida, Vega Baja and Dorado. In addition to Aguadilla, the Beltrans are also trying to aid the communities of Moca, San Sebastian and Comerio.

"I probably spend 95.5 percent of my day trying to make the situation in Puerto Rico better by helping them get the basic needs like food and water and trying to make connections and using our alliances to help the conditions improve," Jessica Beltran said. "We feel very fortunate and grateful to be in this position to help and maintain awareness. There is still a lot of work to do."

Additionally, Beltran's foundation and its partners are also sending 20 containers with thousands of pounds of goods to the island on Oct. 20. He created a relief fund for Hurricane Maria soon after the hurricane hit and donated one million dollars of his own money.

"Right now, I can go to the grocery store and get water, and I know people at home can't do that," Beltran said. "I feel devastated, and that is why I am so involved in this situation, because the need is real. This is no joke. It is reality. It is hard for me to concentrate, but at the end of the day, I have a job to do. So thank God I have my foundation, thank God I have the academy I built in Puerto Rico and all of the people that work for me. And at the same time, I have a great wife who has really been involved in everything since Day 1."

Jesse Sanchez, who has been writing for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.