Santana, Katt, Liriano, Blyleven...Dobnak???
Randy Dobnak is the latest would-be hero/sacrificial lamb to douse the Minnesota Twins' postseason fire. Earlier this week, the Twins named him the Game 2 starter in their American League Division Series tilt against the New York Yankees. Minnesota trails in the series after New York took a 10-4 decision on Friday night.
While he doesn't boast the resume of his more accomplished predecessors, he does possess a story worthy of a movie script as it is...
-He's from South Park
Head on down to South Park, and meet some friends of mine? Not quite, but he is indeed a South Park resident, born in the Pennsylvania township in 1995. He would then go on to enjoy a tenure at South Park High School before college baseball awaited at the Division II level at Alderson Broaddus University in Phillipi, West Virginia. Undrafted after 2017, Dobnak was added to Minnesota's roster in August. "I had some of the best times of my life there," Dobnak said in a February tweet. "Met the love of my life, got an education and was lucky enough to continue to play afterwards. I would go to war for any of my brothers I played alongside!"
-He used to be a Unicorn
Unicorns aren't real, except if you count Dobnak and his comrades in Utica, Michigan. Prior to the Twins' call, Dobnak was a participant in the independent United Shore Professional Baseball League. The USPBL features a mere four teams, and the quartet all plays in the same ballpark in Utica. Save for select games on ESPN3, matches are only available on YouTube. Dobnam was signed by the Twins organization out of the USPBL in 2017.
-He'll get you where you need to go
Dobnak is certainly used to high-pressure, high-speed situations. After all, he spent previous Octobers as both an Uber and Lyft driver. After making the big leagues (2-1, 1.59 ERA in 28.1 IP), Dobnak hasn't forgotten his rideshare roots. His Twitter account continues to boast an impressive 4.99 (out of 5) driver rating. ""I have all five stars except for one (review)," Dobnak told Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com. "I have one four-star. I’m hoping it was a mistake. I don’t remember doing anything bad. I wish I knew. I wish I could find that person and just ask them why."
-He just got married
As mentioned about, Dobnak met his wife Aerial during his West Virginia adventure. Two years ago, they set a wedding date of September 28, 2019. Confident as they were in Dobnak's pitching, as he was pitching with the Twins' Single-A affiliate in Cedar Rapids, they never envisioned the MLB postseason would ever be a concern. Hours before the nuptials, the Twins captured the AL Central title. Afterwards, Dobnak was allowed temporary leave for his celebration in Maryland. He wore the same goggles he wore during the previous party, while Aerial wore his new Twins jersey.
Dobnak and the Twins take on the Yankees in Game 2 of the American League Divisional Series at 5:07 p.m. ET on FS1.