The Summer of Pudge is winding down but not before perhaps the biggest celebration of them all.
Pudge Rodriguez will have his No. 7 Texas Rangers’ jersey retired before Saturday’s game against the Astros. It’s the first time Rodriguez will be honored in Arlington since his July 30 induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Less than 500 reserved seats remain for the 7:05 p.m. game. The jersey retirement ceremony is expected to start at 6:20 p.m.
“I can’t wait for [Saturday] to go out there and thank all the fans and the Rangers organization for everything they did for my family,” said Rodriguez after a Hall of Fame luncheon at the Omni Hotel in downtown Fort Worth Friday afternoon. “This has been a great moment in my life. This is a moment that everybody dreams of having.”
Fellow Hall of Famers Roberto Alomar and Fergie Jenkins helped Rodriguez celebrate at the luncheon. Rodriguez was interviewed by Rangers’ Hall of Fame announcer Eric Nadel.
Since his Hall of Fame induction was announced in January, Rodriguez has been on a tour of sorts, making appearances all around the country and in his native Puerto Rico. It’ll continue after this weekend while he promotes his book “They Call Me Pudge.”
“Receiving the respect and love from all the fans in the cities where I played is always nice,” he said. “The support the Rangers fans have given the team and to me and my family … I’m going to be very happy and emotional, of course, to come back and have the fans able to see the Cooperstown plaque right there on the field. It’s going to be a great night.”