Iván Rodríguez

Iván Rodríguez Torres (born November 27, 1971), nicknamed "Pudge",[1] is a former Major League Baseball catcher. He played for the Texas Rangers (on two different tours, comprising the majority of his career), Florida Marlins, Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, Houston Astros and Washington Nationals.

Rodríguez was awarded the AL MVP award in 1999. He is widely regarded as one of the best defensive catchers of all time.

Rodríguez won the World Series with the Florida Marlins in 2003, and also played in the 2006 World Series while with the Tigers. He is the major league career leader in putouts by catchers. On June 17, 2009, Rodríguez set an MLB record by catching his 2,227th game, passing Carlton Fisk. During his career, he had the best caught stealing percentage of any major league catcher, at 45.68%.[2]

On January 18, 2017, he was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown in his first year of eligibility, receiving 76% of the votes cast, and was officially inducted on July 30, 2017.

Iván Rodríguez
Pudge-rodriguez-2009-09-01
Rodríguez with the Texas Rangers in 2009
Catcher
Born: November 27, 1971 (age 47)
Manatí, Puerto Rico
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
June 20, 1991, for the Texas Rangers
Last MLB appearance
September 28, 2011, for the Washington Nationals
MLB statistics
Batting average.296
Hits2,844
Home runs311
Runs batted in1,332
Teams
Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Induction2017
Vote76.0% (first ballot)

Early years

Rodríguez was born and raised in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico. His father, Juan, worked for a U.S.-based construction company, and his mother, Eva Torres, was an elementary school teacher.[3] Iván's first job involved delivering flyers in the shopping malls in Puerto Rico.[4]

He learned baseball at an early age, his biggest rival being Juan González, whom he often played against in his youth.[3] As a Little League player and just 8 years old, he moved from pitcher and third baseman (his favorite position)[5] to catcher because his father, who was also his coach, thought he was throwing too hard and scaring opposing players with his pitches.[6] His favorite player growing up was Johnny Bench, even before he was changed to the catcher position. The reason for this was that, according to Rodríguez, the Big Red Machine teams for whom Bench played were constantly on TV in Puerto Rico, and he saw how good Bench was.[7] Rodríguez attended Lino Padron Rivera High School, where he was discovered by scout Luis Rosa. Rosa reported that "He showed leadership at 16 that I'd seen in few kids. He knew where he was going."[3] Rodríguez signed a contract with the Texas Rangers in July 1988, at the age of 16, and began his professional baseball career.[3]

Playing career

Minor leagues

Rodríguez made his professional debut in 1989 at the age of 17 as catcher for the Gastonia Rangers of the South Atlantic League. In his first game, he had three hits in three at-bats (3-for-3) against Spartanburg. Playing in the Florida State League in 1990, Rodríguez was selected the best catcher in the league and named to the All-Star team. He placed 15th in the league in batting at .287, and led his team in runs batted in, with 55. He also played in the Liga de Béisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente (LBPRC) over the offseason.[8]

I got my nickname on the very first day of camp. Chino Cadahia, who was a Rangers coach at the time, gave me that name. He saw that I was short and stocky, so, from Day One, he started calling me "Pudge." It caught on, and the rest is history.

— Ivan Rodríguez, in how he got his “Pudge” nickname

At the beginning of the 1991 season, Rodriguez played 50 games with the Tulsa Drillers, a AA team, where he batted .274 in 175 at-bats. He was considered the number one prospect of the Texas League. Before the middle of the season, he was called up to the Texas Rangers, thus bypassing AAA.[9]

Texas Rangers

Making his debut with the Texas Rangers on June 20, 1991, he became the youngest player to catch in a major league game that season at 19 years of age.[10] He immediately established himself as an excellent hitter who was also proficient in throwing out would-be base-stealers. No other catcher in the past 35 years has been as successful at this aspect of the game, with Rodríguez throwing out 48% of attempted basestealers through May 2006.[11] He started many of the Rangers games at the end of the season, including 81 of the last 102. Rodríguez became the youngest player in the history of the Texas Rangers to hit a home run, on August 30, 1991, facing the Kansas City Royals and right-hander Storm Davis. He was named to the Major League Baseball (MLB) Rookie All-Star team by both Topps and Baseball America and finished in fourth place in the AL Rookie of the Year voting. He also placed first in throwing out runners, catching 48.6 percent of runners attempting to steal.[12]

In 1992, Rodríguez started 112 games behind the plate and was the youngest player in the major leagues for the second year in a row. Playing in the Puerto Rico Winter League, he had a .262 batting average playing in 17 games for Mayagüez.[13] In the 1993 season, Rodríguez batted .273, had 66 runs batted in and hit 10 home runs, ranking fourth, fifth, and fifth on his team respectively. He had a stretch of eight straight hits over two games facing the Kansas City Royals on July 26 and July 28. He played the final month of the regular season in the Puerto Rican Winter league, where he had a .425 batting average and 14 runs batted in for Mayagüez. Rodríguez was named to the Puerto Rican Winter League all-star team and was also the league Most Valuable Player (MVP).[14]

In 1994, Rodríguez led the American League in batting average among catchers, at .298. He placed high on his team in many statistics, placing second in batting average (.298), tied for third in doubles (19), and fourth in hits, total bases, runs, home runs, walks, games, and at bats. He also caught Kenny Rogers' perfect game on July 28. Rodríguez played in the Puerto Rican Winter League over the winter, but he suffered a severe knee injury which kept him from playing for the rest of the season.[15]

Playing for the Rangers during the 1995 season, Rodríguez led his team in batting, total bases, and doubles, at .303, 221, and 32 respectively. He was named the Texas Rangers' player of the year. Rodríguez also had his first multi-home run game while playing the Boston Red Sox on July 13, hitting both off All-Star pitcher Roger Clemens. He also played for Caguas in the Puerto Rican Winter League during the offseason.[16]

In 1996, Rodríguez set an MLB record for most doubles by a catcher, amassing 44 over the course of the season. This broke the previous mark of 42, set by Mickey Cochrane in 1930. He also set the major league record for at-bats by a catcher in a single season, with 639, which surpassed Johnny Bench's record of 621 in 1970. He led the Texas Rangers in doubles, at bats, hits, and runs scored. He was selected to the Major League Baseball All-Star team that played a series in Japan against the Japanese all-stars after the season was over. He again played in the Puerto Rican Winter League this season.[17] In the 1997 season, Rodríguez also placed first among catchers in many categories in Major League Baseball. These categories were hits, runs, runs batted in, and doubles. He placed second in home runs among catchers, below only Sandy Alomar, Jr. of the Cleveland Indians, who had 20 home runs. He appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated on the week of August 4. This marked the fourth time a player from the Texas Rangers had been on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Rodríguez played in the Puerto Rican Winter League yet again, where he had a .285 batting average, 4 home runs, and 18 runs batted in over the course of 32 games playing for Caguas.[18]

In the 1998 season, Rodríguez led the Texas Rangers in batting average at .325, which placed eighth in the American League. He also had 75 multi-hit games and 186 hits, finishing seventh and ninth in MLB respectively. He finished second on the Rangers in hits, total bases, triples, and slugging percentage. Rodríguez was third on the team in doubles, home runs, and stolen bases, and fourth in runs batted in. He had his 1000th hit in a game facing the Cleveland Indians on May 10 of that season. Rodríguez also became the first catcher in the history of Major League Baseball to have two or more seasons with 40 or more doubles. He was selected to the American League All-Star Team again, and he was also named to all-star teams by the Associated Press, The Sporting News, and Baseball America.[19]

In 1999, Rodríguez was selected as the American League MVP. He set a new American League record for home runs in a single season among catchers with 35. Rodríguez was also the first catcher to have more than 30 home runs, 100 runs batted in, and 100 runs scored in the history of Major League Baseball. In addition, he holds the distinction of being the first catcher in the history of the league to amass more than 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases. From May 8, 1999 to June 1, 1999, Rodríguez had a career high 20 game hitting streak. He had 25 stolen bases, which was fifth most among catchers in the history of the league. He led the league in times grounded into a double play, with 31. Rodríguez was only the ninth catcher in the history of Major League Baseball to win the Most Valuable Player award, and he was the first to win it since Thurman Munson in 1976. He was named on all of the ballots, getting seven first place votes and six second place votes. Rodríguez was the sixth Puerto Rican to win the award, and the fourth player from the Texas Rangers to win it. He also won the Silver Slugger Award for the sixth time in a row and was selected Most Valuable Player by Baseball Digest. He was again named to all-star teams by the Associated Press, The Sporting News, and Baseball America.[20] While he was hitting home runs, he wasn't taking many walks. He is one of only six players active in 2009 who have had at least 30 home runs in a season in which they had more homers than walks (34 HR, 24 BB in 1999). The others are Alfonso Soriano (39–23 in 2002, 36–33 in 2005, 33–31 in 2007), Garret Anderson (35–24 in 2000), Ryan Braun (34–29 in 2007), Joe Crede (30–28 in 2006), and José Guillén (31–24 in 2003).[21]

In 2000, Rodríguez suffered a season-ending injury in a game against the Anaheim Angels. While trying to make a throw to second base, his thumb made contact with the swing of Mo Vaughn's bat. He fractured his right thumb and underwent surgery the next day. This injury caused him to miss the rest of the season. Rodríguez appeared in just 91 games, which was the fewest that he appeared in since his first season in the league, 1991. His nine home runs in April matched a team record that was shared (through 2008) with Alex Rodriguez (2002), Carl Everett (2003), and Ian Kinsler (2007). Even though he was injured, he was still named to the second-team of Baseball America's Major League Baseball All-Star Team.[22]

Rodríguez returned to full action in 2001 and had another all-star season. He was selected to his ninth straight MLB All-Star Game, which tied the all-time record set by Johnny Bench. He also tied Bench's record of ten straight Rawlings Gold Glove Awards in a row. He batted .308, making 2001 his seventh straight season with a batting average of over .300. He had 25 home runs, 136 hits, and 65 runs batted in.[23]

Rodríguez's final year with the Texas Rangers came in 2002. His .314 batting average was seventh best among American League players. This was his eighth season in a row with batting average of .300 or above. He also had 32 doubles, 2 triples, and 60 runs batted in while playing in 108 games for the Rangers. Rodríguez was placed on the disabled list on April 23 after suffering a herniated disk on April 15. The injury did not require surgery, and he rehabilitated while playing for Class-A Charlotte. He later returned to the Rangers and played there for the remainder of the season. After the 2002 season his contract with Texas ran out and he became a free agent.

Florida Marlins

Before the 2003 season Rodríguez signed with the Florida Marlins. By then a major-league veteran of over a decade, he helped lead the young team to victory in the World Series.[24] During the 2003 regular season, he set many Marlins single season records for a catcher, such as batting average, at .297, and runs batted in, at 85. On March 31, Rodríguez became the tenth Marlins player ever to hit a home run in the team's first game of the season. On April 8, he set a Marlins single game record by drawing five walks in a game against the New York Mets. He had a nine-game hitting streak from June 24 to July 2, during which he batted .500 with seven doubles, two triples, and four home runs. From June 24 to July 1, he drove in a run in eight consecutive games, another single season record for the Florida Marlins. In the post-season, he was named National League Championship Series Most Valuable Player for the first time in his career. He also closed out the National League Division Series by holding onto the ball during a dramatic game-ending collision at the plate with J. T. Snow in Game Four. He chose not to return to the Marlins following the 2003 season.

Detroit Tigers

Ivan1
Rodríguez talking with Mike Maroth while playing for the Detroit Tigers, July 11, 2005.

Before the 2004 season Rodríguez signed a 4-year, $40 million contract with the Detroit Tigers.[25] In 2004, he was selected to the MLB All-Star Game for the 11th time in his career and for his 10th time as a starting player, joining Johnny Bench and Mike Piazza as the only Major League Baseball catchers to start an All-Star game 10 times or more in their career. During the month of June, he batted .500 and was named the American League Player of the Month.[26] He also won his 11th consecutive Rawlings Gold Glove Award, making him the first player on the Detroit Tigers to win the award since Gary Pettis won it in 1989. He won his seventh career Silver Slugger Award, tied with Víctor Martínez of the Cleveland Indians. He was fourth in the American League in batting average and fourth among all Major League Baseball catchers. On October 1, he recorded his 1,000th career RBI in a game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.[27]

Prior to the 2005 season, Jose Canseco, in his controversial book Juiced, claimed to have personally injected Rodríguez with anabolic steroids during their time as teammates on the Texas Rangers.[28] Rodríguez denied the allegations and said he was "in shock" over Canseco's claims.[29] Asked by a reporter four years later whether his name is on the list of 104 players who tested positive for steroids during baseball's 2003 survey testing, Rodríguez responded, "Only God knows."[30]

Despite the off-season controversy, the 2005 season turned out to be another All-Star year for Rodríguez. He was selected to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game for the twelfth time in his career, and he participated in the Century 21 Home Run Derby on the day before the All-Star game, finishing second to Bobby Abreu of the Philadelphia Phillies in his home stadium of Comerica Park. By the end of the season, he batted .276 with 14 home runs and 50 runs batted in.[31] On October 26, 2005, Major League Baseball named him the catcher on their Latino Legends Team.

In 2006, Rodríguez returned to throwing out runners attempting to steal a base at a very high percentage, as he did in his earlier career; he was first in the league in this category, throwing out 45.7 percent of all runners attempting to steal a base.[32] On May 9, 2006, Rodríguez played first base for the Tigers. That game, a 7–6 loss to the Baltimore Orioles, was the first time that he played a position other than catcher in his 1,914 Major League games.[33] On August 15, 2006, he also made his first Major League appearance at second base after regular second baseman Plácido Polanco was injured in a game in Boston. Rodríguez was honored with a Fielding Bible Award as the best fielding catcher in MLB in 2006.[34] Rodríguez would help the Tigers upset the Yankees in the 2006 ALDS and the A's in the 2006 ALCS to help Detroit win the pennant.

On April 16, 2007, he batted in 6 runs on the way to a 12–5 victory over the Kansas City Royals. On June 12 he caught Justin Verlander's first no-hitter, the second no-hitter he caught in his career. In 2007, Rodríguez walked in only 1.8 percent of his plate appearances, the lowest percentage in the major leagues.[35] On October 9, the Tigers announced that they were picking up the fifth-year, 13-million-dollar option on Rodríguez's contract, keeping him on the Tigers team through at least the 2008 season. The team could have bought out the option for three million dollars and allowed him to become a free agent.

In spring training in 2008 he led the major leagues with eight home runs. On April 10 against Boston, he got his 2,500th hit.[36]

New York Yankees

AAAA4790 Iván Rodríguez
Rodríguez with the New York Yankees in 2008.

On July 30, 2008, Rodríguez was traded to the New York Yankees for relief pitcher Kyle Farnsworth after starting Yankee catcher Jorge Posada had season-ending surgery.[37] While Rodríguez wanted to leave Detroit due to Tigers manager Jim Leyland's decision to use rotating catchers, he wound up sharing catching duties with back-up Yankee catcher José Molina, starting only 26 of the remaining 55 games of the 2008 season. With his customary number 7 having been retired by the Yankees for Mickey Mantle, Rodríguez changed his jersey number to 12. He finished the year with a .278 batting average with his time on the Yankees being his worst part of the season.

Return to Puerto Rican League

In preparation for the 2009 World Baseball Classic, Rodríguez returned to the Puerto Rico Baseball League (formerly LBPPR) during the offseason, following ten years of absence.[38] Playing for the Criollos de Caguas, he gathered a batting average of .370 with three runs batted in and one home run in six games during the regular season. Upon leaving the team on vacation, Rodríguez noted that his intention was to return to action if the Criollos advanced to the playoffs.[39] He returned to action in a "sudden death" game for the final postseason space, but the team lost and was eliminated. On January 8, 2008, the Leones de Ponce reclaimed Rodríguez in the last turn of a special post-season draft, where players from eliminated teams were selected to reinforce those that qualified.[40] In the first week of December 2009, Rodríguez re-joined the Criollos de Caguas in the PRBL.[41]

Houston Astros

DSC04771 Iván Rodríguez
Rodríguez during his tenure with the Houston Astros in 2009.

On March 20, 2009, Rodríguez signed a one-year deal worth $1.5 million with the Houston Astros. Rodríguez was given the opportunity to make an additional $1.5 million in performance bonuses.[42] In a situation similar to his tenure with the Yankees, his customary number 7 had been retired by the Astros in honor of Craig Biggio, so Rodríguez initially wore jersey number 12, then later changed to number 77 mid-season.

On May 17, 2009, Rodríguez hit his 300th career home run off of Chicago Cubs pitcher Rich Harden at Wrigley Field. On June 17, 2009, Rodríguez passed Carlton Fisk for the most games caught in a career; the game was against his former team (the Rangers) at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Second stint with Rangers

On August 18, 2009, Rodríguez was traded to the Texas Rangers for minor league reliever Matt Nevarez and two PTBNL.[43] Teammate David Murphy switched his uniform number to #14 so Rodríguez could wear the #7 he previously wore with the Rangers. In his first game with the Rangers, Rodríguez went 3-for-4 with an RBI double and two singles.[44] He hit his first home run with the Rangers since 2002 on August 29, a solo shot against Minnesota Twins reliever José Mijares.

He finished the 2009 season ranked first in major league history with 13,910 putouts as a catcher, ahead of Brad Ausmus (12,671).[45]

Washington Nationals

2010 04 12 Ivan Rodriguez
Rodríguez during batting practice while with the Nationals.

Following the 2009 season, Rodríguez filed for free agency, declining the Rangers' offer of salary arbitration.[46] On December 11, 2009, Rodríguez signed a 2-year, $6 million contract with the Washington Nationals.[47]

Rodríguez hit his first home run as a member of the Nationals on May 6 against Tim Hudson of the Atlanta Braves. Facing the New York Mets at Citi Field four days later, he went 4-for-4 and drove in the eventual game-winning RBI. On May 24, Rodríguez was hitting .325, but was placed on the 15-day disabled list due to a back sprain.[48]

On June 8, 2010, Rodríguez returned from the DL in time to catch for Stephen Strasburg's Major League debut. In this debut, Strasburg struck out 14 batters and walked none over seven complete innings. This game has already been dubbed as one of the greatest major league pitching debuts of all time.[49] In a postgame interview, Pudge reacted that "[e]verybody [was] impressed with what this kid did."[50]

Rodríguez platooned at the catching duties for the Nationals with Wilson Ramos.[51]

International career

World Baseball Classic (Puerto Rico)

Rodríguez represented Puerto Rico in the 2006 World Baseball Classic.[52] Rodríguez was one of several Major League Baseball players that committed to represent their birthplaces before the organization of the tournament. He also played for Puerto Rico in the 2009 World Baseball Classic and was named to the classic's All-World Baseball Classic team.

Retirement and honors

IvanRodriguezRangers
Iván Rodríguez's number 7 was retired by the Texas Rangers in 2017.

Rodríguez announced his retirement on April 18, 2012.[53][54] He signed a one-day contract with the Rangers on April 23, retiring as a member of the team. Rodríguez also threw out the ceremonial first pitch during the Rangers home game against the New York Yankees. Instead of throwing out the ceremonial first pitch from the mound, he went to his usual position behind the plate and threw from behind home plate to second base to Michael Young.[55] Rodríguez was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame on February 27, 2014. He also joined FOX Sports Southwest in 2014 as an analyst for pre and postgame television coverage.[56]

In 2017, Rodríguez became eligible for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Richard Justice of MLB.com argued that he was "unquestionably" a Hall of Fame-caliber player, writing on mlb.com in 2012 that he batted better than .290 with more than 2,500 hits, 550 doubles, 300 home runs and 1,300 RBI, an accomplishment equaled only by four all-time greats: Hank Aaron, George Brett, Babe Ruth and Barry Bonds. (This statement was incorrect, as Stan Musial also met and far surpassed all of those numbers.)[57] Incidentally, in 2013, the year following Justice's publication of this article, Todd Helton had met all five of these criteria as well, and among active players, Albert Pujols joined this club in 2015 upon hitting his 550th double.) Justice acknowledged that like Bonds, Rodríguez might have difficulty winning election to the Hall of Fame due to suspicion that he used steroids during his career.[58] On January 18, 2017, Rodríguez was elected to the Hall of Fame on his first ballot, receiving 76% of the vote.[59] On January 21, 2017, the Rangers announced that they would retire Rodriguez's #7 in a ceremony on August 12, 2017.[60] On August 12, the Rangers retired his jersey, with the team (and the opponent, the Houston Astros) wearing throwback jerseys to the 1999 era in which Rodriguez played.

In August 2017, Rodríguez was selected by Governor Ricardo Rosselló as one of Puerto Rico's five shadow representatives.[61]

Personal life

Rodríguez married Maribel Rivera on June 20, 1991. That same night, having been called up from double A (Rodriguez bypassed AAA) by the Texas Rangers, Rodríguez made his major league debut, in which he threw out two White Sox would-be base stealers.[4] Rodríguez has three children: Dereck, Amanda, and Ivanna. In 1993, Rodríguez and his wife founded the Ivan "Pudge" Rodríguez Foundation, whose purpose is to help families in Puerto Rico, Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas.[62] Rodríguez has also stated that the Make-a-Wish Foundation is one of his charities of choice.[4] Their fifteen-year marriage ended in 2006, and Rodríguez married Colombia native Patricia Gómez in 2007.[63]

See also

References

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  2. ^ "Active Leaders &amp Records for Caught Stealing %". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 14, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d "Puerto Rico Profile: Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez". Puerto Rico Herald. March 30, 2001. Retrieved March 11, 2008.
  4. ^ a b c "Personal tid-bits". Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez Foundation. Archived from the original on November 18, 2007. Retrieved December 29, 2007.
  5. ^ "Iván Rodríguez lloró cuando le dijeron que tenía que ser "catcher"" (in Spanish). ElNuevoDia.com. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  6. ^ Sanchez, Jesse. "Who is the Greatest Latino Catcher?". MLB.com. Retrieved April 24, 2008.
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  59. ^ "Hall of Fame Class of 2017". Baseball Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2019-04-01.
  60. ^ "Rangers to retire Pudge Rodriguez number". MLB.com. Retrieved 2019-04-01.
  61. ^ Lucas, Ed (July 27, 2017). "Hall of Fame inductee Ivan Rodriguez still making Puerto Rico proud". The Jersey Journal. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  62. ^ "Quick Facts About the Foundation". Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez Foundation. Retrieved December 29, 2007.
  63. ^ Associated Press (February 15, 2009). "Pudge being patient in search for team". ESPN.com. Retrieved October 14, 2011.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)

External links

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Juan González
Recipient of the Major League Baseball Player of the Month Award
April 1998
Succeeded by
Bernie Williams
Preceded by
Joe Randa
Recipient of the Major League Baseball Player of the Month Award
August 1999
Served alongside: Rafael Palmeiro
Succeeded by
Albert Belle
Preceded by
Melvin Mora
Recipient of the Major League Baseball Player of the Month Award
June 2004
Succeeded by
Mark Teixeira
U.S. House of Representatives
New seat Shadow Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Puerto Rico

2017–2018
Succeeded by
Luis Berríos Amadeo
1999 Texas Rangers season

The Texas Rangers 1999 season involved the Rangers finishing 1st in the American League west with a record of 95 wins and 67 losses. The 95-67 mark would be the best in franchise history until 2011.

Winning its third division title in four years, the Rangers would repeat its 1998 post-season performance, again losing to the New York Yankees 3-0. This would be the club's last post-season appearance until 2010.

2017 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 2017 proceeded according to rules most recently amended in 2016. As in the past, the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from a ballot of recently retired players, with results announced on January 18, 2017. The BBWAA elected Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and Iván Rodríguez to the Hall of Fame.

The three voting panels that replaced the more broadly defined Veterans Committee following a July 2010 rules change were replaced by a new set of four panels in July 2016. The newly created Today's Game Committee convened early in December 2016 to select from a ballot of retired players and non-playing personnel who made their greatest contributions to the sport after 1987. John Schuerholz and Bud Selig were elected by this committee.

Charlotte Rangers

The Charlotte Rangers, based in Port Charlotte, Florida, were an American minor league baseball team that existed from 1987 through 2002. The team played at Charlotte County Stadium as a Class A Florida State League affiliate of the Texas Rangers, who at the time made their spring training base in Port Charlotte.

During their 16-year history, the Charlotte Rangers won two FSL championships (1989 and 2002) and sent players such as Juan González, Iván Rodríguez, Kenny Rogers, Kevin Brown and Carlos Peña to Major League Baseball.

When the parent Rangers moved their spring training operation to Arizona in 2003, the Charlotte franchise was sold to the St. Louis Cardinals and moved across the state to Jupiter, Florida, where it plays as the Palm Beach Cardinals.

The Charlotte Stone Crabs, FSL affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, eventually replaced the Rangers, moving from Vero Beach in 2009.

Dereck Rodríguez

Iván Dereck Rodríguez (born June 5, 1992), nicknamed D-Rod, is an American professional baseball pitcher for the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball (MLB). He made his MLB debut in 2018. He is the son of Hall of Famer Iván Rodríguez and is affectionately known to fans as Son of Pudge.

Eduardo Iván Rodríguez

Eduardo Iván Rodríguez Ramallo (born 7 April 1978 in Santa Cruz de Tenerife) is a former Spanish athlete specializing in the 400 metres hurdles. He competed at the 2004 Olympic Games reaching the semifinals.

His personal best in the event is 49.08 from 2004.

Gastonia Rangers

The Gastonia Rangers were a class A minor league baseball team located in Gastonia, North Carolina. 2017 Hall of Fame Inductee Iván Rodríguez played for Gastonia in 1989. The team played first as the Rangers in the Western Carolinas League (1973–1974), then later in the same league renamed as the South Atlantic League (1987–1992), during their affiliation with the Texas Rangers. The franchise was also the Gastonia Tigers (1986), Gastonia Jets (1985), Gastonia Expos (1983–1984) and Gastonia Cardinals (1980–1982). Their home stadium was Sims Legion Park. After the 1992 season, the team moved to another North Carolina city, Hickory, and have been known as the Hickory Crawdads ever since.

Iván Cambar

Iván Cambar (born December 29, 1983) is a Cuban weightlifter.

At the 2006 World Championships he ranked 7th in the 77 kg category, with a total of 343 kg.He won the gold medal for Cuba at the 15th Pan American Games in the 77 kg category on July 17, 2007 with a total lift of 350 kg. He lifted 156 kg in the snatch, beating the previous Pan American Games record. On his record Cambar said; "More than happiness for winning, I'm proud to set up a new Pan American record. It's really a great feeling and an honor to any athlete." He then went on to lift 194 kg in the clean and jerk to win in Rio de Janeiro. He said of his gold medal "I came to the Pan Am Games as a favorite and, since the beginning, I felt a hard pressure. I knew it would have been a big disappointment in my country if I went back without a medal. Now I can go back home relaxed and I'm proud of my gold medal." José Ocando of Venezuela took silver with a combined lift 13 kg less than Cambar.

A year later in 2008, he competed in Weightlifting at the 2008 Summer Olympics in the 77 kg division finishing sixth with 353 kg. This beat his previous personal best by 10 kg.

He won the bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in the men's 77 kg category with a total of 349 kg.

Cambar won the 85 kg silver medals in snatch and clean & jerk during the 2014 Pan American Sports Festival.He is 5 ft 4 inches tall and weighs 170 lb.

Iván Rodríguez (athlete)

Iván Rodríguez Padilla (born 15 January 1937 in Yauco, Puerto Rico) is a Puerto Rican former sprinter who competed in the 1956 Summer Olympics and in the 1960 Summer Olympics. He finished third in the 1959 Pan American Games 4×400 metres Relay (with Ramón Vega, Frank Rivera, and the non-Olympian Cains). In the 1959 Pan American Games 400 metres Rodríguez finished fifth.

Iván Rodríguez Mesa

Iván Rodríguez Mesa (born January 22, 1977) is a Panamanian former swimmer, who specialized in breaststroke events. He is a single-time Olympian (2000) and a member of the Arizona State Sun Devils swimming and diving team under head coach Mike Chasson.Rodriguez competed only in the men's 100 m breaststroke at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. He achieved a FINA B-standard entry time of 1:04.52 from the Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He challenged seven other swimmers in heat five, including Israel's top favorite Tal Stricker and Chinese Taipei's 16-year-old Yang Shang-hsuan. He raced to sixth place in a time of 1:04.68, trailing Mexico's Alfredo Jacobo by a hundredth of a second (0.01). Rodriguez failed to advance into the semifinals, as he placed forty-fourth overall on the first day of prelims.

Iván Rodríguez Traverzo

Iván Ariel Rodríguez Traverso (born September 29, 1975) is a Puerto Rican politician who served as a Member of the House of Representatives of Puerto Rico. He represented the 16th Representative District, composed of the towns of Isabela, San Sebastian, and Las Marías. Traverzo is affiliated with the pro-statehood New Progressive Party of Puerto Rico (NPP).

Traverso first ran for office at the 2004 elections, but he lost to the opposing candidate. However, on the 2008 elections, he ran again and won.He was expelled from the House of Representatives on December 10, 2010 after accusations of bribery, becoming only the fourth legislator to be expelled from the Puerto Rico Legislative assembly. During the trial against him, he was briefly represented by former PNP legislator, Nicolás Nogueras.On January 27, 2012, an arrest warrant was issued against Rodríguez Traverso for 8 charges of corruption. He was arrested on January 31, 2012.

Iván Rodríguez del Pozo

Iván Rodríguez del Pozo (born 30 April 1996) is a Spanish footballer who plays for Málaga CF as a right back.

Jesús Iván Rodríguez

Jesús Iván Rodríguez Trujillo (born 21 May 1993) is a Mexican footballer who plays as a Goalkeeper for Club Puebla.

José Iván Rodríguez

José Iván Rodríguez Rebollar (born 17 June 1996) is a Mexican professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Liga MX club León.

Kenny Rogers' perfect game

On July 28, 1994, Kenny Rogers of the Texas Rangers pitched the 14th perfect game in Major League Baseball history, blanking the California Angels 4-0 at The Ballpark at Arlington. Needing 98 pitches to complete his masterpiece, Rogers struck out eight batters. He also survived three-ball counts to seven Angel hitters. The perfect game is, as of 2019, the most recent no-hitter in Ranger history.

Rogers said he did not think about the perfect game until the ninth inning—and the bid was almost broken up one batter in. Rookie center fielder Rusty Greer preserved the bid by making a diving catch of Rex Hudler's sinking line drive to right-center leading off the inning. Greer also caught Gary DiSarcina's fly ball for the game's final out.

Offensively for the Rangers, Jose Canseco hit two home runs. One of them came in the third inning and was on the front end of back-to-back homers with Iván Rodríguez, Rogers' catcher.

The perfect game came three years to the day after Dennis Martínez's perfect game, the last perfect game prior to this one, and made Rogers the third left-hander to pitch a perfect game, joining Sandy Koufax in 1965 and Tom Browning in 1988. It also came 10 years after the Angels' Mike Witt pitched his perfect game against the Rangers, that game taking place in The Ballpark's predecessor, Arlington Stadium. As of 2017, the Angels and Rangers are the only two teams to record perfect games against each other.

The home plate umpire was minor league fill-in Ed Bean, who was working in his 29th Major League game and seventh as home plate umpire. Bean worked only seven more Major League games.

List of Gold Glove Award winners at catcher

The Rawlings Gold Glove Award, usually referred to as the Gold Glove, is the award given annually to the Major League Baseball players judged to have exhibited superior individual fielding performances at each fielding position in both the National League (NL) and the American League (AL), as voted by the managers and coaches in each league. Managers are not permitted to vote for their own players. Eighteen Gold Gloves are awarded each year (with the exception of 1957, 1985 and 2007), one at each of the nine positions in each league. In 1957, the baseball glove manufacturer Rawlings created the Gold Glove Award to commemorate the best fielding performance at each position. The award was created from a glove made from gold lamé-tanned leather and affixed to a walnut base. Initially, only one Gold Glove per position was awarded to the top fielder at each position in the entire league; however, separate awards were given for the National and American Leagues beginning in 1958.Iván Rodríguez has won the most Gold Gloves at catcher, with 13; all were won with the Texas Rangers or the Detroit Tigers (both American League teams), though Rodríguez has played in both leagues. Johnny Bench, who spent his entire career with the Cincinnati Reds, leads National Leaguers in wins, and is second overall with 10 Gold Gloves. Yadier Molina is third overall and second in the NL all time with 9. Bob Boone, who is a member of one of four family pairs to win Gold Glove Awards, won seven between both leagues during his career. Jim Sundberg has won six Gold Gloves, with Bill Freehan winning five. There have been four 4-time winners at catcher: Del Crandall, Mike Matheny, Charles Johnson, and Tony Peña. Hall of Famers who have won as catchers include Bench, Carlton Fisk, and Gary Carter. The other family pair to win Gold Gloves as catchers are brothers Bengie and Yadier Molina, who have won eleven awards between them as of the end of the 2018 season.Yadier Molina set the record for putouts among winning catchers in 2016; he put out 1,113 batters for the St. Louis Cardinals that season. In the American League, the leader is Dan Wilson, with 1,051 putouts in 1997 though he did not win the Gold Glove Award for it. Among Gold Glove winners, the most A.L. putouts was in 2012, when Matt Wieters had 994. Assist leaders include Carter (108 in 1980) in the National League and the major leagues and Sundberg (103 in 1977) in the American League. No Gold Glove-winning catchers had posted errorless seasons until Johnson (1997) and Matheny (2003) each accomplished the feat in the National League within six years; their fielding percentages in those seasons were 1.000, and Matheny posted two other winning seasons with only one error and a .999 fielding percentage in his career. Bengie Molina leads in the American League with a one-error, .999 fielding percentage season in 2002; Sherm Lollar also posted only one error in the award's inaugural season, but a reduced number of chances left his fielding percentage at .998. Yadier Molina and Johnson hold the major league record for double plays turned among winners, with 17 each. Edwards doubled off 17 runners in 1964, and Johnson matched his total in 1997. The American League leaders are Ray Fosse and Boone (16 double plays in 1971 and 1986, respectively). Bench holds the record for the least passed balls in a season, having allowed none in 1975. Rodríguez (1999) and Boone (1988) lead the American League, with one allowed. Rodríguez has the highest percentage of baserunners caught stealing, with a 60% mark set in 2001. Bench is the National League leader; he threw out 57% of potential base-stealers in 1969.

List of Major League Baseball career putouts as a catcher leaders

In baseball statistics, a putout (denoted by PO or fly out when appropriate) is given to a defensive player who records an out by tagging a runner with the ball when he is not touching a base (a tagout), catching a batted or thrown ball and tagging a base to put out a batter or runner (a Force out), catching a thrown ball and tagging a base to record an out on an appeal play, catching a third strike (a strikeout), catching a batted ball on the fly (a flyout), or being positioned closest to a runner called out for interference.

Catcher is a position for a baseball or softball player. When a batter takes his/her turn to hit, the catcher crouches behind home plate, in front of the (home) umpire, and receives the ball from the pitcher. In addition to these primary duties, the catcher is also called upon to master many other skills in order to field the position well. The role of the catcher is similar to that of the wicket-keeper in cricket.

Iván Rodríguez is the all time leader in putouts at the catcher position with 14,864 career. Rodríguez is the only catcher to record more than 14,000 career putouts. Jason Kendall is second in career putouts as a catcher, and the only other catcher to record more than 13,000 career putouts.

List of Silver Slugger Award winners at catcher

The Silver Slugger Award is awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position in both the American League (AL) and the National League (NL), as determined by the coaches and managers of Major League Baseball (MLB). These voters consider several offensive categories in selecting the winners, including batting average, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage (OBP), in addition to "coaches' and managers' general impressions of a player's overall offensive value". Managers and coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their own team. The Silver Slugger was first awarded in 1980 and is given by Hillerich & Bradsby, the manufacturer of Louisville Slugger bats. The award is a bat-shaped trophy, 3 feet (91 cm) tall, engraved with the names of each of the winners from the league and plated with sterling silver.Among catchers, Mike Piazza has won the most Silver Slugger Awards, with ten consecutive wins in the National League between 1993 and 2002; this is the most Silver Sluggers won consecutively by any player in Major League Baseball. In the American League, Iván Rodríguez has won the most Silver Sluggers, with six consecutive wins from 1994 to 1999, and a seventh when he tied with Víctor Martínez in 2004. Lance Parrish won the American League award six times (1980, 1982–1984, 1986, and 1990), and Joe Mauer and Jorge Posada have won it five times; Mauer won in 2006, 2008–2010 and 2013, while Posada won in 2000–2003 and 2007. Hall of Famer Gary Carter (1981–1983, 1984–1986) and Brian McCann (2006, 2008-2011) are five-time winners in the National League. Other multiple awardees include Buster Posey (four wins; 2012, 2014–2015, 2017), Benito Santiago (four wins; 1987–1988, 1990–1991), Mickey Tettleton (three wins; 1989, 1991–1992) and Carlton Fisk (three wins; 1981, 1985, 1988). J. T. Realmuto and Salvador Pérez are the most recent National and American League winners, respectively.

Piazza holds several Major League records for catchers in a Silver Slugger-winning season; most were set in 1997. That season, he had an on-base percentage of .431, and had 124 runs batted in (a total he matched in 1999) to lead the award-winning catchers in those statistical categories. Javy López holds the Major League records among winners for home runs (43) and slugging percentage (.687); these were set in 2003. Mauer holds the Major League record in batting average with a .365 clip he set in 2009. Mauer also leads the American League in on-base percentage (.444 in 2009) and slugging percentage (.587 in 2009). Parrish batted in 114 runs in 1983, and Fisk hit 37 home runs in 1985.

Rawlings Gold Glove Award

The Rawlings Gold Glove Award, usually referred to as simply the Gold Glove, is the award given annually to the Major League Baseball players judged to have exhibited superior individual fielding performances at each fielding position in both the National League (NL) and the American League (AL), as voted by the managers and coaches in each league. It is also awarded to women fastpitch softball players in the National Pro Fastpitch as of 2016. Managers are not permitted to vote for their own players. Additionally, a sabermetric component provided by Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) accounts for approximately 25 percent of the vote. Eighteen Gold Gloves are awarded each year (with the exception of 1957, 1985, 2007, and 2018), one at each of the nine positions in each league. In 1957, the baseball glove manufacturer Rawlings created the Gold Glove Award to commemorate the best fielding performance at each position. The award was created from a glove made from gold lamé-tanned leather and affixed to a walnut base. Initially, only one Gold Glove per position was awarded to the top fielder at each position in Major League Baseball; however, separate awards were given for the National and American Leagues beginning in 1958.

Silver Slugger Award

The Silver Slugger Award is awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position in both the American League and the National League, as determined by the coaches and managers of Major League Baseball. These voters consider several offensive categories in selecting the winners, including batting average, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage, in addition to "coaches' and managers' general impressions of a player's overall offensive value". Managers and coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their own team. The Silver Slugger was first awarded in 1980 and is given by Hillerich & Bradsby, the manufacturer of Louisville Slugger bats. The award is a bat-shaped trophy, 3 feet (91 cm) tall, engraved with the names of each of the winners from the league and plated with sterling silver.The prize is presented to outfielders irrespective of their specific position. This means that it is possible for three left fielders, or any other combination of outfielders, to win the award in the same year, rather than one left fielder, one center fielder, and one right fielder. In addition, only National League pitchers receive a Silver Slugger Award; lineups in the American League include a designated hitter in place of the pitcher in the batting order, so the designated hitter receives the award instead.Home run record-holder Barry Bonds won twelve Silver Slugger Awards in his career as an outfielder, the most of any player. He also won the award in five consecutive seasons twice in his career: from 1990 to 1994, and again from 2000 to 2004. Retired former New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza and former New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez are tied for second, with ten wins each. Rodriguez' awards are split between two positions; he won seven Silver Sluggers as a shortstop for the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers, and three with the Yankees as a third baseman. Wade Boggs leads third basemen with eight Silver Slugger Awards; Barry Larkin leads shortstops with nine. Other leaders include Ryne Sandberg (seven wins as a second baseman) and Mike Hampton (five wins as a pitcher). Todd Helton and Albert Pujols are tied for the most wins among first baseman with four, although Pujols has won two awards at other positions. David Ortiz has won seven awards at designated hitter position, the most at that position.

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