Pudge No-Brainer Hall of Famer Come 2017. Unless ... | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Pudge No-Brainer Hall of Famer Come 2017. Unless ...

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    ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 30: Former catcher for the Texas Rangers Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez waves to the fans as he walks out ot catch the cermonial firts pitch from Rangers team President Nolan Ryan against the San Francisco Giants in Game Three of the 2010 MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 30, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Brian Snyder-Pool/Getty Images)

    Pudge Rodriguez is the greatest player in Rangers’ history.

    Will he be next Ranger in baseball’s Hall of Fame?

    When the elders debate and eventually invite baseball’s Class of 2017, Rodriguez should be a no-brainer, first-ballot selection along with Manny Ramirez. Unless, of course, steroid whispers keep one or both of them out of Cooperstown.

    Pudge caught more games than anyone in major league history. He’s one of the best defensive backstops of all time, winning 13 Gold Gloves in 21 seasons. He was AL MVP in 1999, putting him an elite group to win 10+ Gold Gloves and an MVP.

    With his stats, Pudge is a slam dunk. But with his ties to steroids … who knows?

    There are no suspensions, no positive tests and not even a mention in the Mitchell Report for Rodgriguez. But because he was named in Jose Canseco’s book, played on the infamous ‘90s Rangers and because his body so abruptly changed, there are certainly suspicions. The same sort of unsubstantiated whispers kept Mike Piazza out for several years, and continue to block the path of the Astros’ Jeff Bagwell.

    Pudge deservers in, but his complete resume might keep him from entering on schedule.
     

    A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.