Mirandas enjoy Bronx-style family reunion

Award-winning actor Lin-Manuel sees cousin Jose play in-person for first time in Majors

April 16th, 2023

NEW YORK -- Lin-Manuel Miranda didn’t throw away his shot to finally watch his cousin play in the Major Leagues.

Before the Twins' 2-0 loss to split a four-game set with the Yankees in the Bronx on Sunday afternoon, the multi-time Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award winning songwriter, playwright and performer popped into the Minnesota clubhouse to meet his cousin, third baseman .

A noted sports fan who said he’s been coming to games at Yankee Stadium his whole life, Lin-Manuel Miranda was supposed to come see his cousin play with the Twins during Jose’s rookie season last year, but that game was rained out, delaying this occasion until 2023.

“It's been really lovely to watch his rise,” Lin-Manuel Miranda said. “He's just so gifted and a lovely, humble guy. Our whole family is so proud. The entire cousin network is always on high alert when he's at bat.”

That, of course, begged the question: How big is this cousin network going wild for Jose’s at-bats?

“We're Puerto Rican!” Lin-Manuel Miranda replied without skipping a beat. “It's dozens and dozens!”

That Puerto Rican heritage has also made Jose Miranda’s journey all the more significant to the family, as they hail from the town of Vega Alta, where there’s a rich baseball heritage anchored in the Molina brothers (Yadier, Bengie and José) and also involving Lin-Manuel Miranda’s grandfather having served as the manager of former Yankee slugger Bernie Williams’ Little League team.

Lin-Manuel Miranda picked a good team to visit with that in mind: The Twins have seven Puerto Ricans on the roster in Jose Miranda, Carlos Correa, Christian Vázquez, Emilio Pagán, Jorge López, Willi Castro and Jovani Moran.

“It's been amazing!” Lin-Manuel Miranda said. “I don't know if you know what an insane tradition we have of not only Puerto Rican baseball players, but from our hometown. … So to actually have someone in our family make it up to the Majors is, like, an enormous source of pride.”

Jose Miranda rocketed up MLB Pipeline prospect rankings in 2021 after finding the ability to be more selective with his swings to drive the ball with more authority, and the onetime No. 73 selection in the 2016 MLB Draft and former No. 3 prospect in the Twins’ organization hit 15 homers with a .751 OPS during a productive rookie campaign in ‘22.

Jose Miranda batted fifth and played third base on Sunday, grounding out three times during Gerrit Cole’s shutout while making a pair of off-balance throws from the hot corner. He made no promises of a home run or anything in front of his cousins -- because he doesn’t feel he’s found that stroke yet this season.

“I didn’t promise it because I know hitting home runs is hard,” he said. “This year, I don’t have one yet. If I had seven or eight right now, maybe I would say I promise you one. But I’m still working for that first one.”

Still, it was a treat for both Jose and Lin-Manuel to finally be in the same building for one of these games -- as it was for manager Rocco Baldelli, president of baseball operations Derek Falvey and players like Pagán, who all had the chance to meet and greet with the star actor as Jose led him around the Twins’ clubhouse.

“I've been watching the games, ever since he got moved up, but it's really thrilling to get to see him in person,” Lin-Manuel Miranda said. “And 'Hamilton' is playing in [Minneapolis] right now, so it's a weird coincidence. We're coming to your hometown, and thank you for coming to ours!”

Speaking of which, the Yankees are in Minneapolis April 24-26, and the North American tour of “Hamilton” is performing at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis -- only a few blocks away from Target Field -- through May 6.

Is there any chance he’d make the trip to see Jose in his home park for the first time?

“I'd love to,” he said. “I would love to while the ‘Hamilton’ cast is there to make it a business trip and to see my cousin play.”

Jose still has yet to see “Hamilton,” though -- and now, he owes it to his cousin to make a visit to see the show while it’s in town.

So, where do the family allegiances lie for Lin-Manuel Miranda and his young son, Francisco, who was attending his first Major League game?

“He's rooting for home runs for his cousin and a Yankee win,” Lin-Manuel Miranda said.