Longtime Rangers catcher ‘Pudge’ Rodriguez calls it quits

Tyler Whetstone Contributor
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Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez is calling it a career after 21 years, a source told ESPN Wednesday. He will announce his retirement in Arlington, where he played for the Texas Rangers for 12 years.

Rodriguez, 40, was a 14-time All-Star and the 1999 American League MVP. He helped the Florida Marlins capture the World Series in 2003.

Rodriguez spent his career with the Rangers, Marlins, Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, the Houston Astros — again briefly with the Rangers — before spending the last two years with the Washington Nationals. Rodriguez declined a contract offer from the Kansas City Royals this spring.

No catcher in baseball history has played more games than Rodriguez, who played a record 2,427 games. Rodriguez is also first in runs scored — 1,354 total — and he had 2,844 total hits. His 311 homeruns put him at seventh all-time, and his 1,332 RBIs are fifth best for a catcher.

While his bat was historic, Rodriguez was often recognized as the best defensive catcher in baseball. He was awarded 13 Gold Glove awards, the most ever for a catcher.

Former Rangers teammate Jose Canseco has made public claims that he gave Rodriguez steroids. As a result, the steroid claims will likely factor into his chances of getting into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, where he will be on the ballot in five years.

In 2009, Rodriguez was asked if he was a part of the list of players who tested positive for steroids during baseball’s 2003 steroid survey and his answer was simply, “Only God knows.”

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