Rodriguez's legacy in retirement will endure for Rangers, baseball

Posted Sunday, Apr. 22, 2012  comments  Print Reprints
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Pudge's memorable dates

July 27, 1988: Signed by the Texas Rangers as an amateur free agent.

July 28, 1994: Caught Kenny Rogers' perfect game against the Los Angeles Angels.

Oct. 1, 1996: Scored Rangers' first postseason run in Game 1 of the ALDS against the New York Yankees. Rodriguez singled off David Cone to start the fourth, and scored on a three-run homer by Juan Gonzalez.

April 13, 1999: Rodriguez set a franchise-record with nine RBIs against Seattle. Rodriguez went 4 for 5, including a three-run homer and a grand slam blast. The nine RBIs remain a team record.

May 8-June 1, 1999: Rodriguez has a 20-game hitting streak.

Nov. 18, 1999: Rodriguez named the AL MVP by the Baseball Writers Association of America. He hit .332 with 35 home runs, 29 doubles and 113 RBIs.

Jan. 22, 2003: Agrees to a one-year, $10 million contract with the Florida Marlins.

Aug. 19, 2009: In his first game back with the Rangers, Rodriguez goes 3 for 4 with an RBI double. Texas would lose the game 5-4 against Minnesota. The Rangers acquired Rodriguez on Aug. 18, 2009, from the Houston Astros for minor leaguers Matt Nevarez and Jose Vallejo.

Where Pudge ranks with

the Rangers

Games

1. M. Young

1,681

2. R. Palmeiro

1,573

3. J. Sundberg

1,512

4. I.Rodriguez

1,507

5. J. Gonzalez

1,400

At-bats

1. M. Young

6,846

2. R. Palmeiro

5,830

3. I. Rodriguez

5,754

4. J. Gonzalez

5,435

5. J. Sundberg

4,684

Runs

1. M. Young

1,015

2. R. Palmeiro

958

3. J. Gonzalez

878

4. I.Rodriguez

866

5. R. Sierra

645

Hits

1. M. Young

2,085

2. I.Rodriguez

1,747

3. R. Palmeiro

1,692

4. J. Gonzalez

1,595

5. R. Sierra

1,281

Doubles

1. M. Young

390

2. I.Rodriguez

352

3. R. Palmeiro

321

4. J. Gonzalez

320

5. R. Greer

258

Triples

1. M. Young

52

2. R. Sierra

44

3. I.Rodriguez

28

4. J. Sundberg

27

5. R. Greer

25

Home runs

1. J. Gonzalez

372

2. R. Palmeiro

321

3. I.Rodriguez

217

4. R. Sierra

180

5. M. Young

171

Runs batted In

1. J. Gonzalez

1,180

2. R. Palmeiro

1,039

3. M. Young

929

4. I.Rodriguez

842

5. R. Sierra

742

Total bases

1. M. Young

3,092

2. J. Gonzalez

3,073

3. R. Palmeiro

3,026

4. I. Rodriguez

2,806

5. R. Sierra

2,166

Extra base hits

1. J. Gonzalez

713

2. R. Palmeiro

667

3. M. Young

613

4. I.Rodriguez

597

5. R. Sierra

481

Multi-hit Games

1. M. Young

612

2. I. Rodriguez

490

3. Palmeiro

466

4. J. Gonzalez

452

5. R. Sierra

347

Infield hits

(Since 1987)

1. M. Young

192

2. I. Rodriguez

177

3. R. Sierra

117

4. J. Gonzalez

111

5. R. Greer

78

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Ivan Rodriguez, known to most simply as Pudge, established himself as one of the all-time great catchers during his time in Texas. He became a fan favorite throughout Dallas-Fort Worth, beginning his big league career as a 19-year-old in 1991, playing a leading role in the three playoff runs of the 1990s and winning the American League MVP award in 1999.

Rodriguez left the Rangers after 2002, and he helped the Florida Marlins win the World Series in 2003. He then enjoyed a productive four-plus years in Detroit before brief stints in New York, Houston and -- for a second time -- Texas.

Rodriguez played with the Washington Nationals the past two seasons, and officially called it quits last week.

Rodriguez leaves baseball as arguably the greatest defensive catcher in history. He also exits as one of only five players who batted .290 with 2,500 hits, 550 doubles, 300 home runs and 1,300 RBIs in their career. The others on that list? Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, George Brett and Barry Bonds. Not bad company.

How Pudge stacks up against all-time great catchers

Yrs.

BA

HR

H

RBI

2B

MVP

Gold

Gloves

All-

Star

Ivan Rodriguez

21

.296

311

2,844

1,332

572

1

13

14

Yogi Berra

19

.285

358

2,150

1,430

321

3

0*

18

Johnny Bench

17

.267

389

2,048

1,376

381

2

10

14

Mickey Cochrane

13

.320

119

1,652

832

333

2

0*

2

Mike Piazza

16

.308

427

2,127

1,335

344

0

0

12

Roy Campanella

10

.276

242

1,161

856

178

3

0*

8

Gary Carter

19

.262

324

2,092

1,225

371

0

3

11

Carlton Fisk

24

.269

376

2,356

1,330

421

0

1

11

*Gold Gloves were first awarded in 1957. Cochrane's career spanned from 1925-37, Berra played from 1946-65 and Campanella from 1948-57.

Pudge's year-by-year stats

Year

Team

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BA

1991

TEX

280

24

74

16

0

3

27

.264

1992

TEX

420

39

109

16

1

8

37

.260

1993

TEX

473

56

129

28

4

10

66

.273

1994

TEX

363

56

108

19

1

16

57

.298

1995

TEX

492

56

149

32

2

12

67

.303

1996

TEX

639

116

192

47

3

19

86

.300

1997

TEX

597

98

187

34

4

20

77

.313

1998

TEX

579

88

186

40

4

21

91

.321

1999

TEX

600

116

199

29

1

35

113

.332

2000

TEX

363

66

126

27

4

27

83

.347

2001

TEX

442

70

136

24

2

25

65

.308

2002

TEX

408

67

128

32

2

19

60

.314

2003

FLA

511

90

152

36

3

16

85

.297

2004

DET

527

72

176

32

2

19

86

.334

2005

DET

504

71

139

33

5

14

50

.276

2006

DET

547

74

164

28

4

13

69

.300

2007

DET

502

50

141

31

3

11

63

.281

2008

TOT

398

44

110

20

3

7

35

.276

2008

DET

302

33

89

16

3

5

32

.295

2008

NYY

96

11

21

4

0

2

3

.219

2009

TOT

425

55

106

23

2

10

47

.249

2009

HOU

327

41

82

15

2

8

34

.251

2009

TEX

98

14

24

8

0

2

13

.245

2010

WAS

398

32

106

18

1

4

49

.266

2011

WAS

124

14

27

7

0

2

19

.218

Career

9,592

1,354

2,844

572

51

311

1,332

.296

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