One of New York’s Finest and John Jay College alumnus, Enmanuel (Manny) Rodriguez (’10) became a big folk hero when he, along with two other police officers, made a heroic arrest of David Albert Mitchell, the alleged rapist of a 73 year old bird watcher in Central Park last week.
While Rodriguez saved the day, and perhaps the well-being of countless other people by getting an alleged repeat offender off the streets, it was not long ago that Rodriguez was saving baseball games for the Bloodhounds.
Rodriguez was a three year member of the John Jay baseball team, serving as pitcher from 2006-’08 and was a member of a City University of New York Athletic Conference (CUNYAC) championship team in 2007 that earned a berth into the ECAC Metro Regional Championship.
He enrolled in John Jay in 2004 with aspirations of becoming a police officer. Upon graduation he enrolled in the NYPD and was a part of the July 2012 class.
“Playing for the baseball team at John Jay College there were a lot of expectations,” said Rodriguez. “Coach (Dan) Palumbo taught us a lot on how to be respectful to everyone, to pay attention and to present yourself in a dignified matter. A lot of what coach taught me I have applied to the real world and it has definitely made me a better person because of it.”
In his three seasons as a member of the Bloodhounds baseball team, Rodriguez was a pitcher and saw action in 52 games (five as a starter, 47 in relief). He tossed 88.1 innings, struck out 53 batters and earned 11 saves.
“Obviously we’re all so proud of Manny,” said Palumbo. “Manny was part of the legendary teams of the mid 2000s, always a winner on and off the field and he proved it again with this.”
Because of his heroic capture, Rodriguez, along with the other two police officers involved in the arrest, will be honored by NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly with a Medal of Honor on Tuesday, September 25, 2012.