Tonight at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez’s career will be honored as his retirement--as a Ranger, of course--will be made official. As such, the past few days have served as a prolonged remembrance of Pudge’s career, from highly touted prospect to (as we see it, anyway) surefire Hall of Famer.
To this end, it was interesting to hear the comments of former catcher Jim Sundberg, who distinctly remembers the buzz surrounding Rodriguez around the time that he was putting the finishing touches on a career that would earn him entrance into the Rangers Hall of Fame.
“My last year in ’89, I was hearing about a guy we had in the minor leagues that was really good and was going to be a really good one,” Sundberg told ESPN Radio 103.3 FM over the weekend, per ESPN Dallas.
As a commentator for Rangers’ games during Rodriguez’s first season, Sundberg remembers seeing the tools that would lead Pudge to greatness early on.
“He had quick feet. He needs them to block. He needs them to throw. He had a strong, accurate arm,” Sundberg said. “And, plus he could hit. He was a good inside-out guy. He could hit the ball to right field. Just a tremendous player.”