Ivan Rodriguez has been elected to the Hall of Fame Class of 2017.
Recognized as one of the greatest catchers in the history of the game, Pudge earned 76 percent of votes casted by eligible members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Wednesday (Jan. 18), MLB.com reports. “What can I say?” Rodriguez said. “I am out of words. Growing up as a child in my hometown of Vega Baja, [Puerto Rico], to go into the Hall of Fame … It’s a great honor.”
— Ivan Pudge Rodriguez (@Pudge_Rodriguez) January 18, 2017
The 14-time All-Star is also the second catcher in history to be elected in his first year of eligibility, after Johnny Bench. When the Ranger alumnus joins Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines at their official induction ceremony in Cooperstown, N.Y. on July 30, he looks forward to rubbing shoulders with the man he deems a hero.
“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,” Rodriguez expressed. “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.”
Salute to the baseball legend on his well-deserved recognition!