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Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez Retires
- Updated: April 24, 2012
Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez might go down as one of the greatest catchers of all time. He played for 6 different teams throughout his career and was a great influence on all of them. On April 23rd, 2012 Pudge decided to retire as a Ranger after 21 Years, 13 Gold Gloves, 311 Home Runs, and almost 3,000 hits.
Although he spent the bulk of his career in a Ranger uniform, and played for 5 other teams, his most important and most influential stop might have been with the Florida Marlins. Pudge spent exactly one year with the Marlins, but in that year attained his one and only World Series Ring. In 2003, Rodriguez signed a one year deal with the fish as a veteran of over 10 years with the Rangers. He brought leadership to the young clubhouse, and was a cornerstone behind the plate throughout the season. He set a franchise record for times walked in a game, and franchise records for a catcher with both a .296 batting average and 85 RBIs. In the playoffs, he helped clinch the NLDS against the Giants by holding on to the ball as JT. Snow crashed into him to end game 4. He also was named the NLCS MVP with his steller performance against the Cubs, and went on to win the World Series against the New York Yankees.
Despite not returning to the Marlins the following year, he left a strong legacy on the young franchise. For his one year of service, Marlins fans admire and respect “Pudge” for helping to lead that ’03 team to the Marlins’ second ever World Series title. After 2003, he went on and signed with the Detroit Tigers, then went to the Yankees, Astros, back to the Rangers, then played his last game as a Washington National on September 27th, 2011. His career might be over, but fans all around the world won’t ever forget the legacy of Pudge Rodriguez.
Written By: Kevin Macartney