The Texas Rangers just announced; fan favorite Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez will be the 16th member to be enshrined in the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame. “Pudge” as he was affectionately nicknamed during his tenure with the Rangers will join other Rangers greats Charlie Hough, Johnny Oats, Nolan Ryan, Jim Sundberg, Buddy Bell, Ferguson Jenkins, Tom Vandergriff, Mark Holtz, Tom Grieve, John Wetland, Toby Harrah, Rusty Greer, Ruben Sierra, Kenny Rogers and Eric Nadel.
Rodriguez spent his first 12 seasons with the Rangers after breaking into the Majors as a 19 year old catcher. From the beginning the Rangers and their fans knew they had something special in “Pudge”. Rodriguez quickly showed the league, nobody will make a steal on him safely. He quickly became the gold standard for Major league catchers, and he proved it by winning 10 of his 13 Gold Glove awards in a Rangers uniform.
It was a sad day when “Pudge” signed with the Marlins, and he quickly proved the team wrong by going on and continuing to play for nine more seasons and winning World Series titles with the Marlins and Tigers. The Rangers made the smart move by bringing him back for one more swan song to make fans happy after wrongly letting him leave.
“Pudge” happily retired a Ranger and has signed on to become a special assistant/ambassador for the organization. Now Rodriguez will reap the benefits of his time with Rangers by joining the team’s Hall of Fame, which will be one step on his way to Cooperstown. Rodriguez will be inducted during a pre-game ceremony on July 20th.