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Ivan Rodriguez joins Rangers front office

"Pudge" hired by Texas GM Jon Daniels as a special assistant
02/21/2013 2:36 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Ivan Rodriguez retired last April after 21 MLB seasons, 13 with the Rangers.(AP)
Less than a full year after his official retirement, legendary catcher Ivan Rodriguez is back in baseball with the organization that fostered him, hired Thursday by the Texas Rangers as a special assistant to general manager Jon Daniels.

According to a team release, Rodriguez "will assist the Rangers baseball operations group in a number of areas, including amateur, professional, and international scouting, player instruction on the major and minor league level, and talent evaluation. He will also be involved in community and marketing endeavors on behalf of the club."

The second MLB catcher to affectionately be nicknamed “Pudge,” Rodriguez, 41, was originally signed by the Rangers as an amateur free agent in 1988, made his Major League debut in 1991 at age 19, and spent the first 12 seasons of his career in Arlington, winning the American League MVP Award in 1999.

He returned to the Rangers for 28 games in 2009, and finished his career all over the franchise’s leaderboard; entering 2013, Rodriguez is second in franchise history in both hits and doubles, fourth in games played, triples, home runs, RBI and runs scored, seventh in batting average, eighth in slugging percentage, and ninth in OPS.

Overall, Rodriguez played 21 seasons for the Rangers, Marlins, Tigers, Yankees, Astros, and Nationals, hitting .296 with 311 home runs and collecting 2,844 hits. He was a 14-time All-Star, won 13 Gold Gloves and seven Silver Slugger Awards, and was the 2003 NLCS MVP during the Marlins’ run to the World Series title.

Rodriguez officially retired on April 23, 2012 in a Rangers uniform, coming back for one day to call it quits prior to Texas’ game against the New York Yankees in Arlington.

Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroYES

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