CLEVELAND – Baseball is a global game, particularly when 16 nations from five continents clashed in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
The 2018 Major League Baseball schedule helps reflect this widespread popularity.
The Indians and Twins will play two regular season games at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico on April 17-18, 2018. This will be the fifth big league matchup on the island.
“It is a dream come true for me to play in Puerto Rico,” said Francisco Lindor, a native of Caguas, Puerto Rico. “When the Montreal Expos played in Puerto Rico, I remember going to those games and thinking to myself, ‘I would love to be here playing in front of my country and people.’”
Texas and Toronto played in San Juan during the 2001 campaign before the Expos logged home games at the venue in 2003 and 2004. Most recently, the Mets and Marlins took part in a three-game set in June of 2010.
“The Minnesota Twins are honored to visit Puerto Rico and represent Major League Baseball in this international showcase,” Twins President & CEO Dave St. Peter said. “The Twins look forward to joining MLB and the Cleveland Indians organization in celebrating Puerto Rico’s rich baseball heritage and growing influence on our game.”
Even though the Twins will serve as the home team, both Lindor and Roberto Perez will embrace the experience as a one-of-a-kind opportunity to play in their native country.
“Now that we have the opportunity next April, it is a dream realized for me,” said Lindor. “ These will be the most memorable regular season games of my career, for sure.”
John Alfes has covered the Indians for IBI since August of 2016. Follow him on Twitter @JohnAlfes for breaking news and in-depth coverage all season long.