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Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez

By

Ivan Rodriguez photo

Ivan Rodriguez in a 1998 game for the Texas Rangers.

Stephen Dunn/Allsport
Updated April 19, 2012

Vital Statistics:

Born: Nov. 30, 1971 in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico

Height: 5-9

Weight: 205

Bats: Right

Throws: Right

Family: Second marriage, wife's name unknown; son Ivan Derrek (born 1992) and daughters Amanda Christine (born 1995) and Ivanna Sofia (born 2000) from first marriage. Ivan Jr. was drafted in the sixth round by the Minnesota Twins in 2011.

Primary position: Catcher

Before the bigs:

  • Signed at age 16 in Puerto Rico by the Texas Rangers in July 1988.
  • Made his pro debut at age 17 in the South Atlantic League with the Gastonia (N.C.) Rangers and was 3 for 3 in his first game. He hit .238 with seven homers in 112 games.
  • Moved up a level to high-A Charlotte in the Florida State League and hit .287 with two homers and 55 RBI in 1990.
  • At Double-A Tulsa in 1991, he played 50 games and batted .274. Bypassed Triple-A and made his MLB debut at age 19 that June.

Career Highlights:

  • One of the top catchers in Major League Baseball history; no player caught more games (2,427).
  • One of the greatest throwing catchers of all-time, throwing out 46 percent of all base-stealers in his 21-year career.
  • Won 13 Gold Gloves at catcher, including 10 seasons in a row from 1992 to 2001.
  • Finished his career with a .296 career batting average, 311 home runs, 1,223 RBI and 2,844 career hits.
  • Caught two no-hitters, by Kenny Rogers (perfect game) and Justin Verlander.
  • Won the AL MVP award in 1999, setting a record for AL catchers with 35 home runs. Was the first catcher to have 30 homers, 100 RBI and 100 runs scored in history. Also had 25 stolen bases.
  • Was fourth in Rookie of the Year balloting in 1991, hitting .264 with three homers for Texas. The winner was Chuck Knoblauch of the Twins.
  • Had his first career hit off Melido Perez, a two-run single in the ninth inning of a win over the Chicago White Sox on June 20, 1991. Hit his first career home run on Aug. 30, 1991 against the Kansas City Royals' Storm Davis.
  • Was named to his first All-Star team in 1992 and won the first Gold Glove of his career, and his power numbers and batting average steadily improved 1992 to 1999.
  • Won his first of six Silver Slugger awards in a row in 1994. Hit .300 for the first time in 1995, batting .303 with 12 homers.
  • Played in the playoffs for the first time in 1996, when he hit .375 in a first-round series loss to the Yankees.
  • Finished in the top 10 of MVP voting for the first time in 1996 (10th), when he set an MLB record for a catcher with 44 doubles.
  • Signed a one-year, $10 million free-agent contract with the Florida Marlins and 2003. Was named National League Championship Series MVP (hitting two homers and driving in 10 in the seven-game series) and the Marlins won the World Series in his only season in Miami, beating the New York Yankees in six games. It was his only World Series victory.
  • Signed with the Detroit Tigers on four-year, $40 million contract. Finished 10th in MVP voting in his first season, hitting .334 with 19 homers, one of the greatest seasons for a catcher in Tigers history. He started for the AL in the All-Star game for the 10th time.
  • Played in his second World Series for the Tigers in 2006, but Detroit lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in five games. It was his last postseason appearance.
  • Traded to the New York Yankees at the trade deadline in 2008, but the Yankees failed to make the playoffs as he hit .219 in 33 games.
  • Played for the Houston Astros in 2009 on a one-year deal, and was traded back to Texas late in the season.
  • Played his final two seasons for the Washington Nationals, the first as a starter and the last as a backup.

Steroid allegations:

  • Accused of taking steroids by Jose Canseco. Canseco said he injected steroids into Rodriguez when they both played in Texas. Rodriguez denied the allegation.
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