Texas Rangers All-Time Team: The Final Reveal

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Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

It came as no surprise on April 18, 2012 when Pudge announced his intent to retire as a Ranger. He had a career average of .304 with 217 home runs and 842 RBI in 1,507 games with the Texas Rangers.

The official announcement was made at the Ballpark in Arlington on April 23, 2012. Ivan Rodriguez signed a one-day contract with Texas so he could retire as a Texas Ranger. Then Pudge threw out the ceremonial 1st pitch the only way he knew how on April 23, 2012.

Pudge Rodriguez joined the Rangers on February 21, 2013 as a “Special Assistant to the General Manager/Instructor/Ambassador.” I can’t think of any player I would want to represent the Rangers, especially during the MLB Draft.

The all-time ML leader with 2,427 games caught, has represented Texas consecutively since named Rangers’ Ambassador (2013) at the MLB Draft.

Throwing out nearly 42% of runners attempting to steal in his career earned Pudge the all-time record of 13 Gold Gloves at catcher, including 10 in a row from 1992-2001. The Puerto Rico native was the 1999 American League MVP, setting a single-season record posting a minimum average of .330 with 35 home runs, 110 RBI and 110 runs scored by a catcher.

Rodriguez was inducted as the 16th member of the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame on July 20, 2013, and in February 2014 he was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.

Thanks to his friend, Michael Young, Pudge ranks second in club history in hits (1,747), doubles (352) and singles (1,150). He also ranks third in at-bats (5,754) and triples (28).

Clearly, it is easy to see why Ivan ‘Pudge’ Rodriguez was a no-brainer when you cast your votes for all-time catcher. His hard work set the expectations for the modern day catcher. His ferocity behind the plate was feared by would-be-stealers, but his warm personality and generosity is what makes him loved by teammates and adored by fans.

And, that smile is unforgettable.

Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

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