A Boy with a Dream, Rangers Great Pudge Rodriguez is now a Hall of Famer

On July 30, 2017, Iván “Pudge” Rodriguez cemented his legacy as one of the greatest catchers to ever play the game, after he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame as a Texas Ranger.

“This is such an incredible honor for me,” Rodriguez said in Cooperstown. “A little kid from Puerto Rico with a big dream. Never let them take your dream away from you.”

Rodriguez, who joins Johnny Bench as one of just two catchers ever elected to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot, is the 18th catcher to join the Hall of Fame, and the youngest current member.

He is also the sixth player who wore a Texas Rangers uniform to be elected to the Hall of Fame, joining Ferguson Jenkins (1991), Gaylord Perry (1991), Ryan (1999), Rich Gossage (2008), and Bert Blyleven (2011).

At the evening meeting on Tuesday, Mayor Williams and the Arlington City Council declared Tuesday, August 8 as Iván “Pudge” Rodríguez Day. The former Texas Rangers catcher will have his No. 7 jersey retired by the club on Saturday, August 12, 2017 at Globe Life Park in Arlington.

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Rodriguez will become the third Ranger to have his uniform number retired by the club, joining Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan’s #34 in 1996 and former manager Johnny Oates’ #26 in 2005.

Rodriguez told MyArlingtonTV in an interview earlier this year that his connection with The American Dream City has always been a special one.

“I think the relationship I have with Arlington is tremendous,” Rodriguez said. “I received support from these fans from day one.”

Click here to watch all of the American Dream Chapter videos on the City of Arlington’s YouTube channel. You can also visit arlington-tx.gov/news/tag/american-dream-city/.

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