Baseball player leaves game early for citizenship ceremony

From minimum-wage jobs to corporate positions, immigrants fill important jobs all across America. Some of the of the most high-profile jobs an immigrant can hold is one that puts them in the spotlight, such as that of professional athlete. Baseball fans in Louisiana might have noticed that a Major League Baseball player recently achieved citizenship.

Fernando Rodney — a pitcher for the Twins — appeared before the sixth inning of a recent game, which is unheard of. For the past 13 years, Rodney has only appeared on the field from the seventh inning on. Although some speculated that the manager had some ulterior strategy up his sleeve, he insisted that was not the case. Instead, Rodney left to become a U.S. citizen.

The 41-year-old baseball player came to America from the Dominican Republic nearly 20 years ago. After the ceremony, he posed for pictures holding the American Flag and standing alongside a replica of the Statue of Liberty. He also spoke of his excitement to become a citizen and of the opportunities he hopes to have of sponsoring some of his family members’ paths to the States.

For Louisiana immigrant, there may be no greater feeling than finally becoming a citizen. However, there is no denying that U.S. immigration law is complicated, and that the path to citizenship can be difficult. This is why highlighting the achievements of high-profile immigrants — such as professional baseball players — is so important. Although the path may not always be easy, it is most certainly almost always worth it.