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Julio Rodríguez’s pregame routine is more than just a normal warm up

2022 AL LatinoMVP Rookie of the Year, and 2023 AL LatinoMVP Julio Rodríguez, making an impact and memories for all, on-and-off the field - Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

BRONX, NY — Ever since making his MLB debut in 2022, Julio Rodríguez’s pregame routine has always included giving back to the fans in some way, shape or form — by signing autographs, and snapping selfies with them, all the while having quick chats in the process. 

So, to continue his everyday pregame routine, leading up to the first pitch of the Mariners-Yankees game at Yankee Stadium, on Tuesday night, their second matchup in a four-game set this week — at around 7:00 PM ET, Rodríguez, who just finished up his warm ups and stretches, strolled down the third base side… 

The 2023 American League LatinoMVP award winner Rodríguez, spent about three-five minutes with fans, signing and taking photos. Just another minute in the Big League life for J-Rod, but for those on the other side, sitting in their seats, seats in which they paid a ‘boat-load’ for, it’s a life-long memory. 

“No better feeling,” said a fan Amir Elaouino, from Greenwich, Connecticut, who was lucky enough to meet one of his favorite players in Rodríguez throughout the pregame. “It’s a really fun feeling — getting to see the guy that you see on TV.” 

“For me, it’s all about meeting the guy, like I want to know about the personality he has,” added Nicholas Dell’Accio, of Monroe, New York, who joined his friend Elaouino for a night at the ballpark, hoping to have an encounter with one of the biggest superstars in the sport. 

“It’s not only about the autograph for me — I want to see his personality, if he is a cool guy, if he is like-able, and kind of like the humane side of him.” 

Nicholas Dell’Accio and Amir Elaouni pose for a photo following their signing with Julio Rodríguez on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium. Dell’Accio got a J-Rod photo signed, while Elaouni was lucky enough to get a J-Rod 2022 All-Star Game jersey, and a customized Funko Pop, inked – Image Credit: Latino Sports

Dell’Accio then revealed: “He (J-Rod) was a super nice guy.”

On-the-field, Rodríguez, 23, of Loma de Cabrera, Dominican Republic, has shown his All-Star capabilities in center, but is off to a slow start this season at-the-plate for a player of his star stature — posting a slash line of .268/.317/.325 with two HR, and 14 RBI in 49 games. Yet, with that said, the two-All-Star, a back-to-back LatinoMVP award recipient, is currently tied-22nd in MLB for the most hits (52) and tied-19th for the most stolen bases (9). Yes, it is a slow start but to what degree? 

Julio Rodríguez was named the 2022 American League LatinoMVP Rookie of the Year by the Latino Sports Writers and Broadcasters Association, and followed it up by winning the 2023 American League LatinoMVP – Image Credit: Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

Point being here, the 162-game regular season is a marathon, not a sprint. Rodríguez has already shown the sports world where his skillset and potential matches up with the best in Major League Baseball, so an early slump, or a decline in individual statistics, shouldn’t alarm us just yet. 

More Research: Just last August, Rodríguez experienced a 10-game stretch, where he recorded 28 hits in 51 at-bats (.596) — which landed him at a 1.628 OPS in that span with 16 RBI, seven stolen bases and three walks. Regardless of the slow start, he is bound to heat up in the batter’s box. 

Julio Rodríguez signing for fans at Citi Field in 2023 – Image Credit: Simon Lindenblatt/Latino Sports

And even with the struggles, Rodríguez remains the same with his pregame routine — by giving back to the fans. All in all, in some ways, shapes, and forms, that makes a larger impact than certain statistics in a given game.

Robert Rizzo is a journalist and editor of Latino Sports – Email: RobertRiz994@gmail.com

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Julio Pabón

    May 22, 2024 at 11:12 pm

    Getting to know the players actions outside of the batters box, or on the field is always enlightening. Nice 👍🏼

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