Legends On Deck

Pudge Joins Fellow Boriqua’s Clemente, Cepeda and Alomar In Cooperstown

When thinking about Latin ball players in the MLB Hall of Fame, the first name that pops into most heads, is Roberto Clemente.  The pride of Puerto Rico entered the Hall of Fame in 1973, less than a year after his tragic death in December 1972. Along with Clemente in the Hall are other Boriqua’s, Orlando Cepeda who entered in 1999 and Roberto Alomar, Jr who was selected to the prestigious group in 2011.

Now six years later, another Puerto Rican great, Ivan ” Pudge” Rodriguez has been given the honor that he truly deserves to be able to be enshrined next to his fellow countrymen.

Rodriguez, who made his Major League debut in 1991 with the Texas Rangers, became a 14-time All-Star in his 21-year career, while also winning the AL MVP in 1999 with the Rangers. He also won the 2003 NLCS MVP, while also enjoying his first World Series Championship in his only season with the Florida Marlins.

In his tenure in the majors, Pudge spent time with six organizations, which along with the Rangers (13 years) included the Detroit Tigers (5 years), Washington Nationals (2 years), New York Yankees (1 year), Houston Astros (1 year) and the Florida Marlins (1 year).

Pudge became only the second catcher behind Cincinnati Reds great and his hero, Johnny bench to enter the Hall on his first time on the ballot.

“Johnny Bench was my favorite player growing up, and I can’t wait until July to see him on the same stage as me when I’m giving my speech. It’s a dream come true, probably my favorite player right there very close to me, and I would love Johnny Bench to be right next to me when I’m standing there on the stage,” Rodriguez told the media.

Behind the dish, both are well known to have been probably the best defensive catchers in their time to play the game amongst other Hall of Famers. In retrospect, Bench in his career had 610 base runners attempt to steal on him, while catching 469 runners (43%), while 786 runners attempted to steal on Rodriguez, with him gunning down 661 runners (46%).

As for Pudge entering the Hall as a Latin ball player, he knows that it is a huge honor just to be selected but to be the fourth ball player from Puerto Rico, it brings an even bigger pride to an island that has seen many great players come to the United States and impact the game in so many ways.

Below we take a look at how Rodriguez matched up in his career stats with Clemente, Cepeda and Alomar, Jr.

 Batting AverageHitsDoublesHome RunsRBIs
Ivan "Pudge Rodriguez.29628445723111332
Roberto Clemente.31730004402401305
Orlando Cepeda.29723514173791365
Roberto Alomar, Jr..30027245042101134

Congratulations to Ivan Rodriguez on a well earned selection as one of the greatest to ever play the game.

David Conde

David Conde

Co-Founder/Executive Editor at Legends On Deck®
David is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Legends On Deck. He is a former Senior Editor for MetsMerizedOnline, MetsMinors.net and Contributor for Hardballchat.com. He is a native of Brooklyn, NY and a lifelong Mets and baseball fan. David coaches little league baseball so he can teach his two sons how to play the game he loves.David also has a hobby of taking sports photos which can be seen here on Legends On Deck.
David Conde