Happy Trails Ivan Rodriguez: Pudge Finally Retires
The Supreme Court sides with Larry Flynt in the defamation suit Hustler Magazine v. Falwell in February. In April, Sonny Bono is elected mayor of Palm Springs, California, and Roy Orbison dies of a heart attack in December.
The year was 1988, the same year the Texas Rangers signed Ivan Rodriguez out of Puerto Rico. Old. School.
After 21 seasons in the big leagues (yep, some of you aren't even that old) Rodriguez is hanging up his catching equipment. The 40-year-old backstop, who owns the all-time record for Gold Gloves at catcher (13), intends to announce his retirement formally at a ceremony on Monday in Arlington, where he spent his first 12 big league seasons.
After a stint with the Marlins in 2003 (just long enough to win the World Series) he became a Detroit Tiger until 2008 when he split time between the Tigers, Yankees and Houston Astros. He then returned to the Rangers midway through the 2009 season, which was about when everyone assumed he would retire. However, he decided to stick around for a few more seasons between the big leagues and minors, this time as a Washington National. He played only 44 games with the Nats last season, batting .218 with two homers and 19 RBI.
The future Hall of Famer will finish with a career .296 batting average, 2,884 hits, 311 home runs and 1,332 RBI. At one point in his career, he led the league in caught-stealing percentage for six consecutive seasons, and in 2001 busted 60 percent of opposing base thieves. He's batted .300 or better 10 times, been to 14 All-Star games, earned seven Silver Sluggers, and broke Johnny Bench's record of 10 Gold Gloves at catcher before getting three more.
All good things...