Houston Astros catcher Ivan ‘Pudge’ Rodriguez broke the record for most games played by a catcher in Major League history last Wednesday wen he appeared in his 2,227th behind home plate. The record was previously held by Carlton Fisk. Since breaking into the Big Leagues at the tender age of 19, Pudge has played for the Texas Rangers, Florida Marlins, Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees and now currently the ‘Stros. There isn’t much Rodriguez hasn’t accomplished in his 18-year career – he won the 1999 Most Valuable Player Award, sparked the Marlins World Series run in 2003 and of course, won 13 Gold Gloves and is a 14-time All Star…to name but a few of the accolades.
For the moment though, Pudge is being applauded for his remarkable longevity at a position that’s not exactly conducive to minor wear-and-tear on one’s body. Pudge joined ESPN Radio Dallas on Friday to talk about the record and what it means to him.
“Yeah, absolutely…I guess just the way that I work, the way that I take care of myself, my work ethic is always 100%. I’ve been working all my career you know. I’ve prepared myself in the offseason four or five months in the offseason. Then working during the season in the morning, so I guess that’s the reason why.”
On if he remembers his Major League Debut on June 20th 1991:
“How about 1-4, with 2 RBIs and threw two people out!”
On if he’s had any knee surgeries in his long career:
Which of the many pitchers he has caught that had the best ‘stuff’ – at least in terms of making him be at the top of his game behind home plate that night:
“Kevin Brown. When a guy is throwing 97 mph sinker, you have to be ready because if you don’t it’s going to break your hand.”