Pudge Rodriguez to Rejoin Rangers, Retire from MLB - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Pudge Rodriguez to Rejoin Rangers, Retire from MLB

Ceremony to be held Monday at the Ballpark



    Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez will rejoin the Texas Rangers Monday as an active player, and then immediately retire.

    After 21 years in the majors, Pudge will hold a news conference April 23 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington to announce his retirement.

    That night, when the Rangers face the Yankees, the team will honor the All-Star catcher with an on-field ceremony prior to the start of the game.

    The ceremony is expected to take place at about 5:40 p.m., with Pudge tossing out the ceremonial first pitch at 6:05 p.m.

    Here is more on Pudge from the Rangers:

    Rodriguez, who made his major league debut with Texas on June 20, 1991 at the age of 19, had a career average of .296 with 311 home runs and 1332 RBI in 2543 games with the Rangers (1991-2002; 2009), Marlins (2003), Tigers (2004-08), Yankees (2008), Astros (2009), and Nationals (2010-11).

    The all-time major league leader with 2427 games caught, Rodriguez earned an all-time record 13 Rawlings Gold Gloves for his defensive work behind the plate, including 10 in a row from 1992-2001 while throwing out nearly 42% of runners attempting to steal in his career. The right-handed hitter batted .300 or better in ten different seasons with five years of 20+ home runs. Rodriguez is a 14-time All-Star who started a major league record 12 Midsummer classics.

    Signed by Texas as an amateur free agent in 1988, the native of Vega Baja, Puerto Rico batted .304 with 217 homers and 842 RBI in 1507 career games as a Ranger. He is second in club history in hits (1747), doubles (352), and multi-hit games (490), ranks third in at bats (5754), triples (28), and homers, and places fourth in games, runs (866), RBI, total bases (2806), and extra base hits (597). Rodriguez was the 1999 American League Most Valuable Player, when he batted .332 with 35 homers and 113 RBI as he helped lead the Rangers to the third of three consecutive A.L. West Division titles. Rodriguez hit .300 or better in each of his final eight seasons with the Rangers (1995-2002).

    Signed as a free agent by Florida after the 2002 season, he batted .297 and drove in 85 runs for the World Champion Marlins. He played in his second World Series with Detroit in 2006. Rodriguez was acquired by the Rangers from Houston in August 2009 and played in 28 games the rest of that season. He concluded his career with two seasons in Washington, hitting .218 in 44 games in 2011, when he spent nearly two months on the disabled list with a strained oblique muscle.

    The game will be broadcast nationally by ESPN and locally by Fox Sports Southwest.