News Column

Pudge Rodriguez Joins Rangers' Hall of Fame

July 22, 2013

Ivan Rodriguez is one of the most beloved players in Texas Rangers history, and his induction into the team's Hall of Fame simply cemented that.

Rodriguez received a warm standing ovation as he was introduced as the 16th member of the Rangers Hall of Fame on Saturday, and he got another standing ovation after his speech.

Rodriguez's accomplishments speak for themselves: the 1999 AL MVP award, 13 Gold Gloves, 14 All-Star Games, seven Silver Sluggers and a World Series ring with the Florida Marlins in 2003.

"The Rangers are a very special place for me," Rodriguez said. "They taught me how to play the games, how to receive, how to throw, how to hit a baseball. They gave me the opportunity when I was 19 years old to play in the big leagues."

The Rangers signed a 16-year-old Rodriguez out of Puerto Rico in 1988, and he made his debut midway through the 1991 season. He spent 13 of his 21 seasons with the Rangers, is second in club history in hits (1,747) and doubles (352), and retired with the team in April 2012.

Nolan Ryan and Rusty Greer shared their memories of being teammates with the man affectionately known as "Pudge."

"He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame," Greer said. "He brought an intensity to the clubhouse, in the lineup and in the game. We knew we could count on him every day."

Source: Copyright Fort Worth Star-Telegram (TX) 2013 Distributed by MCT Information Services

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