Bottom of the ninth inning of a championship game. A runner on first base. Your team is down by one run. You step to the plate.
It’s a dream scenario we all have enacted in our minds at one time or another. Earlier this month, Chattanooga Lookouts first baseman Jonathan Rodriguez got to live that dream. He got a fastball up in the zone, and he launched it deep into the night, well beyond the fence in left-center field. Immediately, he raised his arms and walked toward first base. His teammates leapt out of the home dugout and raced to greet him when he arrived at home plate. The home run gave the Lookouts a 3-2 win in the game, and a 3-2 win in the series. It also gave them a share of the Southern League championship.
You see, the Southern League decided to cancel the championship series due to Hurricane Irma which affected people in Puerto Rico, Cuba and made landfall in Florida as well. While he was playing hero for Chattanooga, Rodriguez had family and friends back home in Puerto Rico dealing with the aftermath of the hurricane.
After the season, Rodriguez returned home to Puerto Rico and soon after Hurricane Maria arrived. It was bigger and badder than Irma and caused devastation throughout the entire island. Power was knocked out throughout the country and there is a good chance it won’t be returned for months. Jonathan Rodriguez is doing what he can to help the relief efforts.
While there are a lot of Hurricane relief efforts in Texas and Florida, let’s also remember that Puerto Rico is a US commonwealth. These are American citizens as well, and they need help. A lot of help. Yankees legend Jorge Posada wrote a heartfelt article for the Players Tribune
, asking for a favor.
Eddie Rosario, Jose Berrios and Kennys Vargas are Twins players from Puerto Rico, but there are several Twins minor leaguers from the island nation
. The Twins are scheduled to play two games against Cleveland next season in Puerto Rico, at Hiram Bithorn Stadium. The stadium suffered major damage in this hurricane.
So, as you read this, consider donating to Puerto Rico relief efforts if you are able.