Twins bring smiles to PR children's hospital
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Just a few hours after landing late Sunday night, Jose Berrios and several of his Twins teammates spent the bulk of Monday afternoon visiting patients at San Jorge Children's Hospital in San Juan.
Berrios, a native of Puerto Rico and slated to start for Minnesota on Wednesday evening at Hiram Bithorn Stadium against the Cleveland Indians, was accompanied by Joe Mauer, Kyle Gibson, Jake Odorizzi, Trevor Hildenberger, Tyler Kinley, Alan Busenitz, Robbie Grossman and Twins legend Tony Oliva in bringing smiles to young faces.
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The group, which also included Twins mascot TC, handed out signed jerseys, balls, photos and other souvenirs, as they went ward by ward to room by room.
"It's big for us to have the chance to see these kids," said Berrios, a father of three. "I know how hard it must be for a parent to see these children in this situation. It makes us really happy to be here for the time that we can to give some joy to these kids."
San Jorge Children's Hospital opened in 1962, and it treats patients aged newborn to 21. It is supported by the San Jorge Foundation in Puerto Rico, and it also has centers in Arecibo, Bayamon, Ponce, Caguas and Santurce.
"This is one of the things that I wanted to do," Mauer said. "We have a chance to do that and guys are great back home, but coming down here and seeing the excitement from everybody, you want to give something back. I wanted to come here and hopefully put a smile on a couple kids' faces."