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An All-Time Classic: Fernando Rodney

Fernando Rodney
Josh Hedges/Getty Images

An All-Time Classic: Fernando Rodney

The World Baseball Classic has been home for some of the most incredible matchups and performances in the history of Baseball. A performance from one of the most dominant closers in the last decade has seemed to fly under the radar. Fernando Rodney’s 2013 World Baseball Classic was pivotal in the Dominican Republic’s run of excellence through the tournament.  

MLB Career

Fernando Rodney debuted in Major League Baseball in 2002 with the Detroit Tigers becoming their everyday closer by 2009. However, Rodney would begin to be at his very best in 2012 with The Tampa Bay Rays. At the age of 35, Rodney had a year where he would make his first All-Star team having a mind-boggling line through his 76 appearances of  0.60 ERA, 48 Saves, .77 WHIP, and a 3.7 WAR for the 90-win club just missing out on the postseason because of the highly-contested AL East. Although Rodney finished fifth in Cy Young Award voting, as a result of his efforts he did earn AL Comeback Player of The Year and Delivery Man of The Year honors. While Fernando Rodney did not take home any championship hardware for his historic 2012 season it would be in the 2013 WBC where that would change.

Rodney’s Classic Performance

Fernando Rodney
Mike Blake/Reuters

The Dominican Republic in short were completely stacked. A lineup with the likes of Robinson Cano, Hanley Ramirez, and Jose Reyes. Fernando Rodney locked down the opposition en route to the DR’s first World Baseball Classic Championship. Being the first team to go undefeated in the tournament’s 17-year history. Pitching in all 8 games, Rodney went 7 for 7 in save opportunities the most in a single WBC. His 8 saves overall are the most ever. Allowing no runners to cross the plate through 26 batters only allowing ONE hit. Even though he was near perfection, Robinson Cano would take home MVP honors with his .469 AVG. through the 8 games.

Post Prime

After his days in Tampa, Fernando Rodney would make two more All-Star teams with The Mariners and Marlins. Altogether being a consistent stopper for many more Major League clubs. Ultimately winning the World Series with the Nationals in 2019. Rodney has not pitched in MLB since then, playing for the Guerreros de Oaxaca in the Mexican League in 2022. Overall Fernando Rodney’s historic run in the 2013 World Baseball Classic goes under the radar in the story of baseball. However, that stretch of dominance came at a time when Rodney was one of the best closers in the game. His cap tilt as Bow and Arrow save celebration being forever linked to him. In the history of the World Baseball Classic Fernando Rodney cemented himself as the best ever.

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