Yankees outfielder Carlos Beltran is joining with Major League Baseball and Target to honor "All-Star Teachers" around the country this season. The initiative will host events in schools throughout the year and acknowledge educators prior to the 2014 All-Star Game at Target Field in Minneapolis.
The newly acquired star spoke to amNewYork about the program and how joining the Yankees was a "no-brainer" this winter despite his up-and-down experience in New York City with the Mets from 2005-11.
What role did educators play for you growing up?
They really had an impact in my life. I had a lot of teachers that were willing to be patient. They helped me to develop myself to the person that I am. [We're trying to] create an awareness of honoring teachers who are doing just that: changing kids' lives and impacting them in a positive way.
How important is it to you to get a World Series ring before you retire?
I felt that coming to the Yankees was going to give me the opportunity to accomplish that, and hopefully it happens. ... For me it was a no-brainer to be able to join an organization where every year they're going to do the best they can to make the team better.
You had positive experiences with the Mets but also some down moments. Did you have to weigh those pros and cons against each other when you decided to come back to New York?
As a player you're going to go through challenges, and my experience in New York, honestly speaking, my playing time was great. Just the way they handled all the situations, all the negatives, but that's part of playing in a big market. At the end of the day, I wasn't going to base my decision based on my experience with the Mets; I was going to base my decision on my chances of winning a World Series.
Have you had conversations with manager Joe Girardi about how much time you're going to spend in the field?
I understand that I'm going to DH some games or maybe a lot of games. Who knows?