Surrounded by family members, former teammates, friends and a bunch of media, Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez retired from Major League Baseball at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Las Vegas odds
He did it just outside the Texas Rangers Hall-Of-Fame, where he’ll definitely be a member in times to come. Rodriguez, 40-year-old, wanted to do it in Arlington, where he spent his 1st 12 seasons as a professional and has always been a fan favorite.
The Rangers honored Rodriguez in a commemoration before Monday’s game with the N.Y Yankees. Rodriguez, wearing a blue Rangers golf shirt and red Texas cap, came in from left field in a convertible and was given a warm ovation as he waved to fans.
The current Rangers and coaches lined up and observed the commemoration from the dugout as did many Yankee players, along with manager Joe Girardi. Vegas odds
Tom Grieve, the General Manager who signed Rodriguez as a teenager in 1988, presented Rodriguez with a framed white No. 7 Rangers jersey with his name on it. Rangers General Manager and Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, who played with Rodriguez for a couple of years, spoke 1 or 2 words and gave him a crystal souvenir to remember his years with Texas. The Rangers also prepared a video montage of Rodriguez’s best stages as a Ranger.
Rodriguez made some brief remarks, thanking the Rangers, his folks and the fans for his time in Texas. And rather than throw out the ceremonial 1st pitch from the mound, Rodriguez went behind the plate and threw the ball to 2nd base, where former colleague Michael Young caught it to massive cheers from the sellout crowd.
“It’s a very difficult day for me,” said Rodriguez, wearing a red tie and blue coat. “It’s been a great, great, run, 21 years has been interesting. To see teammates of mine, many thanks guys for coming. I would like to thank the fans here from Texas and fans from every part of baseball. Thanks to the all of the organizations I’ve played with.”
A handful of previous teammates, including Rusty Greer, Rafael Palmeiro, Mark McLemore and Ken Hill were attending at the news conference. So was longtime agent Scott Boras.
Ryan related there hadn’t been any discussions yet around retiring Rodriguez’s number, but the club has talked to Rodriguez about a future position with the franchise. They haven’t nailed down any details; nonetheless it could involve working with the organization’s catchers.
“He wants to take 2 or 3 months away from the game and regroup and consider what he’d like to do and give us an opportunity to work out where we could best utilize him,” Ryan said.
Rodriguez made his debut with the Rangers at 19 years of age in 1990 and it did not take him long to become one of the top catchers in the game while in Texas, going to 10 consecutive All-Star Games, winning ten straight Gold Gloves and capturing the AL MVP Award in 1999.
Rodriguez hit .332 with 35 homers and 113 RBIs to go with twenty-five stolen bases during that MVP campaign.
He becomes the 3rd longtime catcher to step down since the end of the 2011 season, joining Jorge Posada and Jason Varitek. By retiring now, Hall of fame voters will get their 1st opportunity to cast a ballot for Rodriguez in 2017.