On Mets, hospitals and inspirations

You may recall a piece on Mets.com last month detailing the inspirational story of Jeriel Rodriguez, a 13-year-old cancer patient who struck up a friendship with Carlos Beltran and his wife, Jessica. If not, I’d suggest giving it a read.

Earlier this week, Jeriel was admitted to a local hospital in Falls Church, Va. for another round of chemotherapy. Jessica Beltran, who regularly communicates with the boy through Facebook, found out about it, prompting Carlos Beltran to make the drive Wednesday morning from Washington, where the Mets are playing, to Falls Church.

The previous day, he and his Mets teammates made their annual pilgrimage to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, where they paid their respects to wounded veterans. They also made headlines, of course, due in large part to last year’s media fiasco involving Beltran, Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez. At the time, Beltran took heat for not making the hospital visit with his teammates, though he later revealed he was doing work for the opening of his baseball academy in Puerto Rico.

For that misunderstanding, he was criticized. Yet when Beltran quietly takes time out of his morning to visit a 13-year-old cancer patient, it is a footnote. That’s wrong.

On this day, to one boy at least, Beltran was a hero. And that’s something worth noting.

—–Follow along on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

9 Comments

Carlos has always been unfairly vilianized by the fans and the media in this town.
He’s a class act.

Not all fans Joe. He was hurt, I’ll give him that – but he’s been a guy that in his ‘walk year(s)’ he’s turned it up to 15… prior to that he keeps it dialed down to ‘6’.

He’s looking good this [walk] year so far – but the story is mainly about his off-the-field work. and as a father that lost his child, well… This made me quite proud to be a Mets fan!

turned it up in his walk year huh…

did u say that after he played with a strained quad his first year?

did u say that after he cracked his face over cameron’s skull…and came back 4 days later…all during his first year..?

do u know that met fans booed carlos a week after he came back from that concussion? #classy

turned it up in his walk year?
what other CF had over 30 HR and a gold glove for 3 years straight ?

Carlos Beltran was hitting .344 when he was injured in June of 2009

please know what ur talking about before u look like another met fan with an ax to grind

This is a really great ongoing story. As someone who himself battled cancer at roughly the same age as Jeriel, I know how much Carlos’ visit(s) meant to him, and how much they can help in his road to recovery. Kudos to both Carlos and Jessica, and also to Mr. DiComo for a great piese of journalism…Well done!

I did not have a problem with Beltran not being at Walter Reed last year – he was away on ‘team approved business’ as I recall – the other two waste byproducts, however…

I applaud Beltran and the Mets for all they do off the field; it is always great to read these stories – another footnote is the fact that the Mets players do NOT accept the ‘for appearing on our show…’ gifts – those prizes are awarded to needy families/charities (steakhouse gifts, watches, etc. when they interview on WFAN).

I hope this child gets better… I lost my son in 2002 and my heart aches for any parent facing the loss of their child! Anything Beltran can do to assist (it would be nice if we discovered he made donations to his medical bills, no?); even if it’s just showing this young man he’s not alone!

Hey Carlos… Thanks! You and your wife are good in my book. :)

The Met fans have been way to hard on Beltran. They forget that in 2009 he played hurt because he didn’t want to go out with everyone else hurt. They are quick to boo and Criticize Carlos. He is a stand up guy. The remark he made when he decided to play right field this year said it all to me. It is about the good of the team it is not about Carlos…..I am a big Beltran fan and have just become a bigger one reading this…..I agree Kudos to Carlos and Jessica Beltran for taking the time to care.

The whole Walter Reed thing is a Mets event so there is media coverage of what they do. They may not all say it but it can be turned into a “Hey look at the good I am doing” Instead of them doing it just because it is good to do. What Beltran did is quietly no media fan fare no please look at me just a man with a big heart trying to inspire and raise the spirits of a very sick kid. I always like Beltran as a player, now I can say I would like him as a person

I think what Carlos Beltran and his wife are doing where this young man in concerned is great. That’s when the word “hero” should be used. I don’t think that this is something that should be publicized without the young man’s permission. If he gave it, great and great for Beltran. It’s things like this that make an athlete special. I remember being 17 and a die-hard NY Ranger fan. I was having breast surgery and somehow, back then, my mother was able to connect me to Pat Hickey, my favorite hockey player. He promised to score a goal for me — playoffs vs. Montreal. And he did. I will never forget that. Good you for Carlos.

Kudos to Anthony for linking this story…too bad Adam Rubin is always taking a nap when the usual targets do good things.

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