Fans of the New York Yankees are being criticized for mocking Minnesota Twins pitcher Randy Dobnak after it came out that the 24-year-old rookie used to work as a driver for Uber.
While speaking to USA Today ahead of his postseason debut against the Yankees on Saturday, Dobnak opened up about driving for the ride-sharing company last year to help earn extra money while chasing his dreams of playing in the major leagues — a goal he finally achieved just a few weeks ago.
After a stint in the minors, Dobnak impressed the Twins enough that they added him to the roster in August. Now he’s helping them in their quest to the World Series. Not only that, he married his wife, Aerial, four days after helping the Twins win their division on Sept. 26.
“This has been the greatest week of my life,’’ Dobnak told USA Today at the time. “I don’t think it’s going to get any better than this.’’
“I don’t know if it sunk in yet,’’ he added. “I don’t know if it ever will. I think everything that’s happened to me is something I never would have thought of.’’
But Dobnak’s improbable story didn’t impress some Yankees fans.
When he took to the mound on Saturday with his new wife in the stands, a group of Yankees fans was filmed chanting “Uber! Uber!” at Dobnak — a jab at his former side hustle.
Yankees fans chant "Uber" at Twins pitcher Randy Dobnak.— Sporting News (@sportingnews) October 5, 2019
Dobnak was an Uber driver in the minor leagues as a way to make some extra money.pic.twitter.com/WuyARMpZMB
Twitter users defended Dobnak after footage of the chant was posted online.
“I’m a die-hard Yanks fan, but c’mon… Having a job that works around your passion is nothing to be ashamed of,” wrote one user.
“As a yankees fan, this is cringe-worthy,” added another.
Dobnak seemed to shrug off the insults after the game.
“I figured that was going to happen,” he told the Associated Press while smiling. He later said playing in the game was a “pretty special.”
Before the matchup, Twins manager Rocco Baldelli complimented Dobnak’s determination.
“He’s about as unique a story as you’re going to find, and in a way, probably that whole story and everything that goes along with it is probably what’s made him who he is and what’s allowed him to take this journey and find his way to the big leagues,” he told the AP.
Despite the feel-good story, the Twins lost to the Yankees 8-2 on Saturday and now face a 0-2 deficit against New York in the best of five series. The teams play Monday night in Game 3 of the ALDS in Minnesota.