January is an important month for many people. It’s a new year with new possibilities and new resolutions. But for Ivan Rodriguez, it’s a chance to achieve immortality.
The former MLB catcher will be on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time in January 2017.
“January is going to be a big month for me,” Rodriguez said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “Right now, it’s getting close. Every day that goes by, I’m getting excited. But to me, the only thing I have in my power is to just wait. January is going to be big news. If it happens, great. I think I have a great career. I played 21 years in this beautiful game, in Major League Baseball. But right now, the only thing I have in control is waiting until January.”
Rodriguez, unequivocally, is one of the greatest catchers in MLB history. A 14-time All-Star and 13-time Gold Glove winner, Rodriguez was an AL MVP with the Rangers and a World Series champion with the Marlins. He’s also a lifetime .296 hitter with 2,844 hits, 311 homers and 1,332 RBIs.
He would love to be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
“It’s important to everybody,” Rodriguez said. “I think it’s true. Of course. It’s great to be there as a first-timer. I think the only one as a catcher is Johnny bench. I could be the second one. But again, it’s not in my control. I think the media is the one to decide that, so I’m just going to wait and see what happens in January.”
Rodriguez, 44, played in the bigs from 1991 to 2011 before retiring in April 2012.
“Twenty-one years is enough,” said Rodriguez, who played for six franchises. “It’s a lot of years, especially the way I played the game. I averaged over 130 games for 16, 17 straight seasons. I have a lot of games in these knees and in this body, but it was hard in 2012 when I decided to retire. It took me a little while to decide. I knew that at the time I could have played probably a couple of more years. I was just turning 40 at the time, and if you can see today, there’s players that are still playing at the age of 40. Bartolo Colon is over the age of 40 and he’s dominating. He’s doing a great job, another good year. But when it’s time, it’s time.”
Rodriguez retired, in part, to spend more time with his family.
“I got a son that plays for the Twins,” he said. “He’s a pitcher. I make the decision just to be with the family and spend time with (them) and watch him pitch in the minor leagues.”