The Texas Rangers announced this evening that the club will have a ceremony during the 2017 season to retire the uniform number 7 of catcher Ivan Rodriguez.
The announcement was made at the conclusion of Friday night’s 2017 Texas Rangers Dr Pepper Awards Dinner at Gilley’s Dallas.
Rodriguez will become the third Ranger to have his uniform number retired by the club, joining Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan’s #34 in 1996 and former manager Johnny Oates’ #26 in 2005. In addition, Major League Baseball retired the number 42 worn by Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson, the first African-American player in the major leagues, in 1997,
The ceremony to retire Rodriguez’ number will take place in August following his induction to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Rodriguez joins first baseman Jeff Bagwell and outfielder Tim Raines as BBWAA selections in the Hall of Fame class of 2017. They will join former Royals and Braves General Manager John Schuerholz and former commissioner Allan H. “Bud” Selig as the inductees in the Class of 2017 on Sunday, July 30 in Cooperstown, New York.
Rodriguez became the 52nd player to be elected by the member of the Baseball Writers Association of America in his first year on the ballot when the 2017 results were announced on Wednesday. He joins Johnny Bench, who was elected in 1989, as the only first ballot catchers so honored.
Overall, Rodriguez became the 18th catcher to join the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the tenth selected in BBWAA voting. Born on November 27, 1971, he will become the youngest current Hall of Fame member. Pitcher Pedro Martinez, who was inducted in 2015, was born on October 25, 1971.
Rodriguez became the sixth player who wore a Texas Rangers uniform to be elected to the Hall of Fame, joining Ferguson Jenkins (1991), Gaylord Perry (1991), Ryan (1999), Rich Gossage (2008), and Bert Blyleven (2011). Ryan, who pitched for the Rangers from 1989-93, is the only previous Hall of Famer with a Rangers cap adorning in plaque. Other Hall of Famers with Rangers connections are managers Ted Williams (1966) and Whitey Herzog (2010), and coach Nellie Fox (1987),
Rodriguez became the fourth native of Puerto Rico to be elected to the Hall of Fame, joining Roberto Clemente (1973), Orlando Cepeda (1999), and Roberto Alomar (2011). In addition, native Cuban Tony Perez (2000) has spent much of his life residing in Puerto Rico.
Rodriguez batted .296 with 311 home runs and 1332 RBI in 2543 major league games with Texas (1990-2002; 2009), Florida (2003), Detroit (2004-08), New York-AL (2008), Houston (2009), and Washington (2010-11). Following his retirement, he joined the Rangers as Special Assistant to the General Manager and begins fifth year in that role. Rodriguez was a 14-time American League All-Star and a 13-time recipient of the Rawlings Gold Glove.
With the Rangers, Rodriguez batted .304 with 217 home runs and 842 RBI in 1,507 games. He ranks second on the team’s all-time list with 1747 hits, 352 doubles, and 490 multi-hit games, is third in home runs, and fourth in games, runs (866), triples (28), RBI, total bases (2806), and extra base hits (597). He was elected to the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame in 2013.