Mariners pitcher Félix Hernández becomes U.S. citizen

Sep 24, 2018, 12:10 PM | Updated: 3:58 pm
Felix Hernandez...
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Around 85 people became U.S. citizens in Seattle on Monday, including longtime Mariners pitcher Félix Hernández.

Hernández passed his citizenship interview Monday morning and finalized the process this afternoon at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services building in Seattle, reports KIRO 7.

Born in Valencia, Venezuela, Hernández was first spotted by Mariners scouts at the age of 14, who were impressed at the 90 mph pitches he was already throwing. The Mariners then signed him as soon as he turned 16, and Hernández ultimately made his major league debut three years later as a 19-year-old in 2005.

RELATED: What should the Mariners do with Félix Hernández?

Dubbed “King Félix,” Hernández threw the 23rd perfect game in Major League Baseball history against Tampa Bay in 2012, the first in Mariners’ history and the most recent in the league. He also holds the record for most strikeouts by a Mariners pitcher.

Hernández has spent his entire 14-year career with the Mariners, and has one year left on the $175 million contract extension he signed in 2013. He’s been out of the starting rotation since Sept. 8 after suffering a right hamstring injury but is scheduled to make his final start of the season on Wednesday against the Athletics.

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Mariners pitcher Félix Hernández becomes U.S. citizen