Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pudge Back in Texas, This Time to Retire

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Pudge Back in Texas, This Time to Retire

Article excerpt

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Ivan Rodriguez made one last throw from behind home plate to second base at Rangers Ballpark.

The 14-time All-Star catcher announced his retirement Monday, ending a 21-season playing career spent mostly in Texas. The Rangers then honored him with a pregame ceremony that ended with a unique first pitch.

Rodriguez initially went to the mound while Michael Young, the team's longest-tenured player, set up to receive the pitch. But that didn't seem right, so Young ran out to second base and Rodriguez, already wearing a catcher's mitt, went behind the plate to a huge cheer and made a familiar throw across the diamond.

Earlier in the day, his eyes glistened and Rodriguez spoke slowly at first when he said he wouldn't play again. It came nearly 21 years after the fan favorite known as Pudge made his major league debut as a 19-year-old with the Rangers and later played for five other teams.

"It's a very hard day for me," Rodriguez said. …

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