We can't think of a more fitting way for "Pudge" to have said goodbye.
Ivan Rodriguez spent more than1,500 games behind home plate for the Texas Rangers. After announcing his retirement after 21 seasons on Monday, the 40-year-old got one last moment as the Rangers' catcher.
Rodriguez threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Rangers-Yankees game. Rather than just climb atop the unfamiliar mound, though, Rodriguez also took a ceremonial toss from a familiar spot. Standing at home plate, the 13-time Gold Glove winner fired the ball to second baseman Michael Young.
Before the pitch, Rodriguez received a framed Rangers jersey with his name on it from Tom Grieve, the general manager who signed him in 1988. He also received a crystal memento from Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan and was treated to a video compilation of his greatest moments with the Rangers.
Rodriguz spent 13 years with the Rangers. He was named to 10 straight All-Star games during that span and won the 1999 A.L. MVP. Although he would win the World Series with the Florida Marlins in 2003 and return to the Fall Classic with the Detroit Tigers just a few seasons later, Rodriguez knew that there was no place like home plate in Arlington when he decided to hang up his gear for the last time.
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