Some of the biggest names in baseball joined Pedro Martinez for his 2nd annual charity gala at the Colonnade Hotel in Boston this weekend.
The former Red Sox ace walked the red carpet on Friday night alongside his wife Carolina, as well fellow Boston icons David Ortiz and Jason Varitek. The event also featured appearances by several other MLB stars, including Robinson Cano, Orlando Cabrera, Nelson Cruz, Vladimir Guerrero, Danny Salazar, Jose Reyes and more.
Aside from raising funds for Martinez’s non-profit, proceeds from the gala will also go to benefit victims of hurricanes Irma and Maria. The Hall of Fame pitcher told reporters at the event that he was “shocked” by the devastation in Puerto Rico, as he knows his home country of the Dominican Republic only narrowly escaped major impacts from these storms.
“Looking at Puerto Rico made us think differently because we are in the same path,” Martinez said. “It could’ve been the Dominican Republic twice this year, and it wasn’t, so we decided that we wanted to help.”
Martinez hoped to use his gala to aid newly-crowned World Series champion and Puerto Rican native Carlos Beltran in his efforts to help the U.S. territory recover.
“Watching what happened in Puerto Rico and the northern part of the Dominican Republic,” Martinez said, “we thought it was important that we shifted our looks and went to Puerto Rico and help out with Carlos Beltran, [Carlos] Correa and those guys that are doing so much.”
In addition to the crisis in Puerto Rico, the current political climate in the U.S. is taking a toll as well on the hearts and minds of many Latino communities stateside. Ortiz told Metro at the event that his message to immigrants in America is to keep their hopes up.
“Just don’t lose the faith,” said Big Papi. “Things are going to get better. It’s just a matter of time, I believe.”
Martinez echoed Ortiz’s sentiments, telling Metro that Latino communities need to remain strong in the face of anti-immigrant attitudes.
“Immigrants that come over looking for a better way to a better life, just remain strong,” Martinez said. “Don’t give up. Just continue to be the charming, hard-working people that we’re accustomed to being.”
“Try not to listen to the negativity that’s out there and actually strive towards the positive,” he added. “And remain united. That’s what we need to do. Not anything else.”