Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle celebrated a career milestone earlier this week, reaching 10 years of MLB service time. Now in his second stint with Washington, Doolittle’s decade in the majors makes him a fully-vested big-leaguer and eligible for a $68,000-a-year pension (that number can rise to as much as $220,000 annually if Doolittle defers benefits until he’s 62). The hurler’s appearance has changed considerably since debuting in 2012, adding glasses, a full beard and more tattoos than he can probably count.
Fans on Twitter were amused to see present-day Doolittle juxtaposed against his younger self, marveling at his transformation from a clean-cut 25-year-old to the bearded, coffee-shop hipster he’s become. Many also noted his resemblance to comedian Seth Rogen of Pineapple Express and Superbad fame.
A key member of the Nationals’ World Series team in 2019, Doolittle had a similar reaction, acknowledging what a “long, strange” journey it’s been through 10 big-league seasons spanning four teams (Oakland, Washington, Seattle and Cincinnati) and over 400 innings pitched.
Doolittle recalls when he was first promoted, with security initially refusing him entry to the A’s parking lot, probably because he looked more like a youth pastor than a major-league pitcher.
Ten years, three Phish albums and lord knows how many trips to Urban Outfitters later, Doolittle is still one of the more reliable bullpen arms in baseball, limiting opponents to a .059 average (1-for-17) with six strikeouts before injuring his elbow earlier this year.