24th of April 2012 Author: Glo Wood
Monday marked the end of the 14-time All-Star catcher's 21 season career after officially announcing his retirement. As most of his time was spent in Texas, it was fitting that the Texas Rangers held a pregame ceremony in his honor.
All eyes were on Ivan Rodriguez as he hurled his final league ball from behind home plate to second base at Rangers Ballpark. He approached the mound while Michael Young, the team's longest-tenured player, prepared to receive the pitch. Young took second base and Rodriguez, armed with a catcher's mitt, took position behind the plate making a familiar throw across the diamond accompanied by the sounds of a roaring a crowd.
All good things come to an end and after nearly 21 years, the fan favorite, known as Pudge, decided to hang up his mitt. He arrived on the major-league scene with the Rangers as a 19-year-old with a bright future. He later went on to play with 5 other teams.
"It's a very hard day for me," Rodriguez said. "It's been a great, great run. ... It's been beautiful', Rodriguez said during his speech.
He also thanked his parents and brother, sitting in the front row, for supporting his passion for baseball since he was a 5-year-old boy in Puerto Rico.
Rodriguez has plans to continue to be involved in MLB and Rangers President, Nolan Ryan, said there have been discussions on the subject. Hopefully, we shall continue to see Pudge around one way or the other.
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