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Rafael Soriano, first lieutenant in the Dominican Air Force

Oct 30, 2013, 12:16 PM EDT

rafael soriano air force

James Wagner of the Washington Post has a good article about Nationals closer Rafael Soriano, who enlists in the Dominican Republic’s Air Force when he goes home during the offseason:

Soriano was brought into the Dominican Air Force, an honorary placement, a distinction also bestowed upon other major leaguers from the Dominican. But Soriano took it a step further. He began coaching the Air Force’s baseball team, serving as an unofficial pitching coach during the offseason.

Soriano, 33, is back at home in the Dominican now with his family and soon he will begin stopping by the nearby military base to coach this year’s baseball team. He donates gloves, bats and uniforms. He has risen all the way to first lieutenant, with a promotion to captain coming perhaps this winter, he said.

Go read the whole article, because it’s cool stuff.

  1. skids003 - Oct 30, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    They have an Air Force? Keep donating and rise in rank. Good for him though.

    • mrhojorisin - Oct 30, 2013 at 12:32 PM

      He should donate a jet!

      • Bryz - Oct 30, 2013 at 6:48 PM

        To the Cardinals.

  2. nagrommit - Oct 30, 2013 at 12:21 PM

    I will now scour the internet for a picture of Fernando Rodney in his Dominican Air Force uniform, cap askew.

    • jcmeyer10 - Oct 30, 2013 at 12:32 PM

      Think he’d bring the plantain on missions for good luck?

  3. raysfan1 - Oct 30, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    Liked him when he was a Ray but was unaware of this. I guess this makes him something like the Dominican Jimmy Stewart, who was a career reservist in the USAF and ultimately retired as a Brigadier General. Much respect to him as a Dominican patriot.

    • jwbiii - Oct 30, 2013 at 3:48 PM

      JImmy Stewart was a little different. He became a licensed commercial pilot during the ’30s and piloted a bomber during WWII.

      • raysfan1 - Oct 30, 2013 at 4:17 PM

        Career USAF here (retired), I know much about Stewart’s career. He is someone I’ve long admired/considered a true hero. You get a brief glimpse of one of the bases where I was assigned in his movie Strategic Air Command.

        My point was that, like Stewart, Soriano pretty clearly takes wearing his uniform seriously. I imagine a lot of Dominican players see the induction into their military simply as an honor–which is fine, but it clearly means more than that to him. That’s as far as I intended the comparison to go.

  4. natstowngreg - Oct 30, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    This is the guy who untucks his jersey after getting a save. Somehow, I’d think his supoerior officers wouldn’t appreciate that sort of thing while he’s in military uniform.

    • blughst20 - Oct 31, 2013 at 3:38 AM

      From the article I gather he doesn’t disgrace the uniform when in the Air Force you….

      Baseball is a game and War is life or death.

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