Francisco Lindor homers on Roberto Clemente Day

Anthony DiComo

By Anthony DiComo

NEW YORK — When Francisco Lindor’s father, Miguel, played baseball, he wore uniform No. 21, as did so many around Puerto Rico who revered Roberto Clemente. Lindor’s older brother wore the inverse, No. 12, just like Puerto Rican star Roberto Alomar. Growing up idolizing all of them, Lindor chose No. 12 for himself when his playing career began.
On Thursday afternoon, Lindor pointed at the No. 21 jersey hanging in his locker and called it “special” to flip the digits affixed to the back of it for a day. Every uniformed member of the Mets and Pirates wore No. 21 for Major League Baseball’s Roberto Clemente Day celebration at Citi Field, as did dozens of others around the country.
For Lindor, who grew up learning about Clemente in school, this was more than a token gesture. This harkened back to his earliest days in school, when he learned about Puerto Rico — lessons about the political history of his island, about the indigenous indios Taíno, and of course about Clemente. So it meant something different to him when he homered in the third inning of the Mets’ 7-1 win over Clemente’s former team, the Pirates, to snap New York’s three-game losing streak.
Batting in a one-run game in the third, Lindor launched a two-run homer into the second deck in right field, just inside the foul pole. It was Lindor’s 24th of the season, breaking a tie with Asdrúbal Cabrera for the most home runs in a single season by a Mets shortstop. Lindor already holds the associated RBI record, which he extended to 94, giving him a chance to become the first Mets shortstop to reach triple digits in RBIs. And he chose a fine night for all of it, with members of Clemente’s family in attendance.

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