Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 4/23/12
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Ivan Rodriguez was back in Texas again. This time, the 14-time All-Star catcher said he has played his last game. Calling it a very hard day after a great run, Rodriguez fought back tears Monday as he announced his retirement at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. 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 before later playing with five other teams. Surrounded by his wife and their three children, including his 19-year-old son who is a prospect in the Minnesota Twins organization, Rodriguez's eyes glistened and he spoke slowly at first when announcing his retirement. He thanked his parents and brother who sat in the front row for supporting him since he started playing baseball at age 5 in Puerto Rico. Rodriguez said he planned to remain in baseball in some capacity. Ryan said the Rangers have already had some preliminary discussions with him about what that might be. "I'm always going to be in baseball the rest of my life," Rodriguez said. "I'll be in baseball, and I'll be active and I'll be doing things, you'll definitely see me around." Rodriguez caught a major league record 2,427 games, surpassing Carlton Fisk's record of 2,226 during a game for the Houston Astros three years ago at Rangers Ballpark. It was later that season that Pudge returned briefly to the Rangers, the team he played for the first 12 of his 21 seasons. "It was interesting to have witnessed Pudge's career and be involved in it at the start and see the player that he grew to be and the impact that he had on our organization," said Rangers president Nolan Ryan, the Hall of Fame pitcher who was still playing when Rodriguez made his major league debut on June 20, 1991. Rodriguez hit .296 with 311 home runs and 1,332 RBIs in 2,543 games overall with Texas (1991-2002, 2009), Florida (2003), Detroit (2004-08), the Yankees (2008), Houston (2009), and Washington (2010-11). His 13 Gold Gloves were the most for a catcher. "The first time I threw to Pudge and saw him, I really thought he was going to be a good receiver, and he had a great arm, we all knew that," Ryan said. "I never anticipated or expected, I don't think, for him to have the career that he had and have the impact on the organization that he had. It was really exciting and fun to watch." Rodriguez, who didn't take questions during the news conference, was part of the Rangers' first three AL West titles in a four-year span in the late 1990s. He later appeared in two World Series, with the champion Florida Marlins in 2003 and Detroit in 2006. Texas won its first three AL West titles in a four-year span in the late 1990s, but didn't win a playoff series then. Rodriguez hit .332 with 35 home runs and 113 RBIs in 1999, when he was the American League MVP. The two-time defending AL champion Rangers have no immediate plans to retire his No. 7 jersey, but have discussed the possibility.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Grizzlies want Kevin Durant in free agency

WATCH: Karl-Anthony Towns throws down monster dunk

Dos Anjos: McGregor will 'break like a girl' at UFC 196

WATCH: D'Angelo Russell hit in groin by LeBron pass

Kobe Bryant has great response to Tyronn Lue story

Report: St. Louis Blues no longer interested in Jonathan Drouin

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Doc Rivers: Warriors have 'swagger' of defending champion

Damian Lillard added as a finalist for 2016 U.S. Olympic Team

Celtics legend Paul Pierce prepares for what ‘could be’ his last game in Boston

Free-agent WR Josh Morgan accidentally shot himself, charged with crime

Jon Beason retires after nine NFL seasons

Brewers Association sends Peyton Manning case of craft beer

Fighter says sex before fight partly to blame for loss

Kevin McHale: James Harden being out of shape hurt Rockets early

WATCH: Kevin Love re-injures left shoulder

Johnny Manziel’s grandpa on ex-girlfriend: ‘The girl has her problems’

Andy Dalton reunited with missing luggage thanks to social media

Chad ‘Ochocinco’ Johnson used to soak his ankles in urine

Why Tom Thibodeau needs to be in New York

Defensemen in high demand as NHL trade deadline looms

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Security guard indicted for assaulting University of Houston football fan

The LeBron-Kobe rivalry and Finals matchup that never was

Mario Williams recognizes Bills may release him

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker