Ivan, Pudge Rodriguez, has been in the major leagues since 1991, when he began his career with the Texas Rangers at the age of 19. It was fitting then, that Rodriguez tied the record in the ballpark where he made his debut. Pudge now shares the record with Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk, with both men having caught in 2,226 games.
In addition to his longevity, Rodriguez has amassed amazing stats through his career. He’s been an all star 14 times and earned 13 gold gloves, and the AL MVP award in 1999, while with the Rangers. Through his career, with the Rangers, Tigers, Marlins, Yankees and now Astros, Rodriguez has been a great player on the field and in the clubhouse. Through the various scandals that have rocked baseball, Rodriguez has quietly put up amazing numbers while playing the game with respect and enjoyment. There should be more players in the majors like Pudge Rodriguez.
Randy Johnson is an opposing figure to look at never mind standing in the batters box and facing his fastball. Through his years in the majors, Johnson has been an intimidating pitcher. The 5 time Cy Young winner joins the impressive 300 win club as it’s 24th member and 6th lefty.
Johnson got his 300th win in style, gaining the win on his first try. The win also came against the Nationals, the same team Johnson began his career with, of course at that time, they were in Montreal. I’m not sure how many 300 win pitchers we’ll see in the majors, but it was nice seeing Johnson get the milestone, he deserves it. Johnson’s career stats are staggering. In addition to the 301 wins, he has a career ERA of 3.28 with 4,853 strikeouts.
No player has hit .400 on the season since, the late great Ted Williams. Many players have started off hot, but fail to sustain the average past July. Joe Mauer is having a career year and is currently batting, .429, with 13 homeruns, which ties his career high. While it is highly unlikely that Mauer will finish the year with a batting average over .400, it’s fun to watch the youngster.
Mauer is a feel good story, the local boy grows up and becomes the hero of his hometown team. The Minnesota Twins have been successful in grooming their young players in their minor league system and Mauer, a former #1 pick, is no exception. The Twins young catcher will continue to stay in the news as he chases .400 and everyone will cheer him on as he tries to do the improbable.