Ivan ‘Pudge’ Rodriguez Retires in Texas — Watch His Best Moments [VIDEOS]
Fourteen-time All-Star catcher Ivan ‘Pudge’ Rodriguez, who won a record 13 Gold Gloves, retired on Monday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Rodriguez, 40, spent 13 of his 21 years in the big leagues with the Rangers, whom he debuted with as a rookie in 1991. He also won a World Series ring in 2003 with the Florida Marlins.
During his long career, spent with Texas, Florida, Detroit, New York Yankees, Houston and Washington, Rodriguez caught a major league-record 2,427 games and hit .296 with 311 home runs and 1,332 RBIs. He was the 1999 American League Most Valuable Player, when he hit .332 with 35 homers and 113 RBIs and stole 25 bases for the Rangers. Here are eight of the most memorable moments of Ivan ‘Pudge’ Rodriguez’s career:
While he eventually won the 2003 National League Championship Series Most Valuable Player award by hitting .321 with two home runs and 10 RBI for the eventual world champion Florida Marlins against the Cubs, Rodriguez also had a Divisional Series-clinching tag on J.T. Snow of the Giants at home plate in Game Four of the NLDS. See it in the video below:
Most Games Caught
By getting behind the plate as the visiting catcher at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on June 17, 2009, I-Rod passed Carlton Fisk for the most games caught in a career.
Best Defensive Catcher
Much of Rodriguez’s reputation as an incredible defensive catcher was based on his outstanding throwing arm. During his career, Rodriguez threw out 45.7 percent of all runners who tried to steal on him. That percentage is the best of any active catcher and one of the best of the past 40 years. Watch Rodriguez in action as he throws out the speedy Kenny Lofton at the beginning of this highlight montage.
300th Career Home Run
While with the Houston Astros in 2009, Rodriguez smacked a two-run home run off Chicago Cubs’ pitcher Rich Harden at Wrigley Field for his 300th career homer.
Single In His Return To Rangers
In 2009, Rodriguez briefly returned to the Texas Rangers. In his first at-bat, he received a long ovation and promptly singled up the middle.
Three Homer Game
On September 11, 1997, Rodriguez belted three home runs in a game against the Minnesota Twins at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Rodriguez ended the day with five RBIs. See the highlights.
Home Run Derby
In 2005, Rodriguez, then with the Detroit Tigers, hit seven home runs in the first round of the MLB home run derby at Comerica Park in Detroit. He finished second to to Bobby Abreu of the Philadelphia Phillies. See the highlights.
First Home Run
When he homered off Storm Davis on August 30, 1991, Rodríguez, 19, became the youngest player in the history of the Texas Rangers franchise to hit a home run. See the highlight.