On Wednesday evening, Ivan Rodriguez was elected to the Hall of Fame. What are the stats that show Rodriguez to be a Hall of Fame-caliber player?
Rodriguez was one of the best catchers in major league history over a 21-year career playing primarily for the Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers, but also for the Florida Marlins, Houston Astros, New York Yankees and Washington Nationals. His 68.4 wins above replacement are third most by a catcher, trailing Johnny Bench (75.0) and Gary Carter (69.9).
Rodriguez finished his career with 2,844 hits, 2,749 of which came as a catcher (the most all time). He’s also the MLB leader in games caught (2,427) and RBIs as a catcher (1,290). His 304 home runs as a catcher rank fifth.
Rodriguez was highly valued for his defense. He led the American League in caught stealing percentage nine times, including six straight seasons from 1996 to 2001. His 13 Gold Glove Awards are the most for a catcher and tied with Ozzie Smith for fourth most in MLB history.
Rodriguez was a 14-time All-Star who won the AL MVP with the Rangers in 1999 and the 2003 National League Championship Series MVP with the Marlins en route to a World Series title.
Hall of Fame moments
1999 AL MVP
Rodriguez hit .332 with career highs in home runs (35), RBIs (113) and stolen bases (25) in helping the Rangers win 95 games and the AL West title. Rodriguez edged Pedro Martinez, Roberto Alomar and Manny Ramirez to win the MVP.
2003 NLDS -- “The Hit” and “The Tag”
Rodriguez did just about everything right in the 2003 NL Division Series against the Giants. In Game 3, he drove in all four runs in a 4-3 win that gave the Marlins a 2-1 series lead. Rodriguez batted with the bases loaded and two outs in the 11th with the Marlins down a run, and he singled in the tying and winning runs.
In Game 4 of the series, he scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning. With two outs in the ninth inning and the Marlins up a run, he held on to Jeff Conine’s throw during a collision with J.T. Snow for the series-clinching out.
2003 NLCS and World Series -- MVP and a title
Rodriguez was named MVP of the NLCS, as the Marlins overcame a 3-1 deficit against the Cubs (rallying from 3-0 down in the eighth inning of Game 6). He drove in 10 runs, including five in a Game 1 win. In the World Series, he hit .273 and drove in a run in a Game 1 win; the Marlins defeated the Yankees in six games.
June 17, 2009 -- MLB record for games caught
Rodriguez set the MLB record for games caught, catching in his 2,227th on this date to pass Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk. Rodriguez did so as a member of the Astros in Arlington, Texas, against one of his former teams, the Rangers.