This Minnesota Twins Pitcher Had To Leave A Game Early. Here’s Why The Team Made It Happen.

"I want to thank ... the @twins organizations for allowing me to catch my flight."

When Minnesota Twins pitcher Fernando Rodney left early from a game against the Tampa Bay Rays, something seemed peculiar.

Rodney is usually a closing pitcher who finishes out games, CNN explains. But he came onto the field in the fifth inning, struck out a few players, and then left. 

Why? Rodney, who's from the Dominican Republic, was on his way to Miami to become a U.S. citizen. Later, he shared a message and a photo after his status became official. 


"After 19 years in this wonderful country today I am blessed to say that I am an official U.S. Citizen. Today I fly the American flag but in my heart always hold my Dominican flag," Rodney wrote on Instagram. "I want to thank all those who have been with me throughout the process and especially thank the @twins organizations for allowing me to catch my flight." 

People have since flooded Rodney's feed to share their congratulations. 

Twins manager Paul Molitor confirmed afterward that putting Rodney in during the fifth inning wasn't a strategic move for the Twins but rather one to help Rodney catch his flight.

"To be honest with you it wasn't about being overly strategic," Molitor said, according to ESPN. "It wasn't something that we really talked about before the game, but he needs to be in Miami for an immigration hearing tomorrow morning. He had a flight that he had to catch and all that kind of stuff, so we had postponed it a couple of times, trying to get it a time that was more feasible, but it turned out tomorrow was the only day and so [we] got him in the game a little earlier."

The Twins also tweeted out their congratulations to Rodney along with a few extra photos. You can check them out below:


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