Monday's introductory press conference for Mets manager Carlos Beltran at Citi Field in New York was historic.
Not only did Beltran's official hire make for a franchise milestone -- it doubled as an uncharted moment in New York sports.
As the new Mets leader, Beltran becomes the first Latino head coach or manager for any of the city's four major sports teams.
"It means a lot -- honestly, it means a lot," Beltran told SNY's Steve Gelbs in a 1-on-1 interview Monday. "And I'm just very proud of where I've come from, very proud of my roots as a Latino and I just want to encourage people out there that, if it's in your head and you want to accomplish something, all you want or need to do is just fight for it and educate yourself, always be willing to learn, always be willing to surround yourself with good people around you and there's a lot you're going to receive, successful advices."
Beltran was born April 24, 1977, in Manati, Puerto Rico.
He graduated from Fernandos Callejas High School in 1995 and embarked on his MLB career with the Kansas City Royals' minor-league system after signing as an 18-year-old outfielder out of Puerto Rico.
Just two years after he completed his 20-season career, starring from 2005-11 with the Mets, Beltran ascended to the role of manager following a brief stint in the Yankees' front office as a special adviser to general manager Brian Cashman.
"I just retired from the game, the Yankees gave me the opportunity to interview for the job -- I wasn't thinking about it," Beltran said Oct. 13 to SNY's Andy Martino. "So this time around, I feel like I'm more prepared from working in the front office for the Yankees, being able to see where baseball is going, being able to see that the ... value that information has on players and how you can make good decisions to put the guys out there in position to be successful.
"So I feel that I'm in a good position. I know that it experience as a manager is not there, but I have 20 years in baseball, I got to be able to be proactive in the clubhouse, dealing with situations in the clubhouse and being able to work, how important chemistry is in the clubhouse. So those things, I have them down. The managerial situation has to come with opportunity and time to do it."