After 21 seasons in the bigs, Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez has decided to retire, CBSSports.com Insider Jon Heyman reports, and will likely formally step away from the game during a Monday ceremony in Arlington. Rodriguez spent the bulk of his career in a Texas uniform, and the Rangers first signed him out of Puerto Rico in 1988.
Besides his uncommon longevity, Rodriguez will be remembered for his durability in his prime seasons and his devastating arm behind the plate (for six straight seasons, he paced the league in caught-stealing percentage, and in 2001 snuffed out 60 percent of opposing base stealers).
His case for Cooperstown should be unassailable. Besides being a 14-time All-Star and 13-time Gold Glove winner, Rodriguez has to his credit an AL MVP award; seven Silver Slugger awards; 2,844 hits (good for 44th place all-time); 311 homers; 572 doubles (21st all-time); 1,332 RBI (87th all-time); 4,451 total bases (50th all-time); and 934 extra-base hits (53rd all-time). As well, Rodriguez holds the career record for games caught.