From the archives: New Hall of Famer Iván “Pudge” Rodríguez

Posted on July 27, 2017

Ivan Rodriguez of the Detroit Tigers smiles during Game 2 of the ALCS against the Oakland Athletics at McAfee Coliseum in Oakland, California on October 11, 2006. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

 

Iván “Pudge” Rodríguez will be honored in Cooperstown, New York on Sunday when he joins the class of Hall of Famers enshrined in the hallowed halls of the museum of baseball history. Pudge joins a growing list of new Hall of Famers who are right in my wheelhouse- guys I shot for the majority of their careers in the 80’s, 90’s, and 00’s. This is when I know I am getting old and my archive is getting more and more valuable as it contains wonderful, original scanned chromes of guys like Dennis Eckersley, Wade Boggs, Tony Gwynn, Cal Ripken, Jr., Rickey Henderson, Roberto Alomar, Barry Larkin, Tom Glavine, Tony La Russa, Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas, Craig Biggio, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, Ken Griffey, Jr., Mike Piazza, and new member Jeff Bagwell.

Now I won’t tell you that I immediately thought of all these ballplayers as Hall of Famers when I was shooting them back in the day, but as I got older and they got older I started to pay attention too most of them, realizing their importance in the history of the game. I knew Pudge was special when I photographed him for a big Sports Illustrated story in 1997 when the Rangers were in Oakland to play the A’s. I shot him in most of the different uniforms of the many teams he played with as he bounced around towards the end of his career, but to me he will always be a Ranger.

As is my tradition every July, I thought it would be fun to dig into my archive and see what I have shot of this new Hall of Famer over his long career. Let’s take a look!

Portrait of Ivan Pudge Rodriguez of the Texas Rangers in the dugout during a game against the Oakland Athletics at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California in 1997. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Texas Rangers catcher Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez bats during a game against the Oakland Athletics at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California in 1997. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Texas Rangers catcher Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez bats during a game against the Oakland Athletics at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California in 1997. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez of the Texas Rangers works during a game against the San Francisco Giants at Pacific Bell Park in San Francisco, California in 2000. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez of the Texas Rangers bats during a game against the San Francisco Giants at Pacific Bell Park in San Francisco, California in 2000. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez of the Texas Rangers puts on his catcher’s gear in the dugout during a game against the San Francisco Giants at Pacific Bell Park in San Francisco, California in 2000. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Ivan Pudge Rodriguez of the Texas Rangers talks to his pitcher during a game against the Oakland Athletics at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California in 2000. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Ivan Pudge Rodriguez of the Texas Rangers takes batting practice during a game against the Oakland Athletics at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California on April 14, 2001. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez of the Texas Rangers grabs a bat in the dugout during a game against the Oakland Athletics at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California on June 24, 2001. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Ivan Pudge Rodriguez of the Texas Rangers in action during a game against the Oakland Athletics at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California in 2002. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

All of the above images are scanned from beautiful Fujichrome slides. I went digital in 2003 so the rest of his career was documented with Canon digital SLR’s.

Ivan Rodriguez of the Florida Marlins tags out Eric Young of the San Francisco Giants at home plate during a game at AT&T Park in San Francisco, California on August 23, 2003. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Ivan Rodriguez of the Detroit Tigers waits in the on deck circle during Game 1 of the ALCS against the Oakland Athletics at McAfee Coliseum in Oakland, California on October 10, 2006. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Ivan Rodriguez of the Detroit Tigers bats during Game 1 of the ALCS against the Oakland Athletics at McAfee Coliseum in Oakland, California on October 10, 2006. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Ivan Rodriguez #12 of the Houston Astros bats against the San Francisco Giants during the game at AT&T Park on July 5, 2009 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Ivan Rodriguez #12 of the Houston Astros fields a swinging bunt and throws to first base against the San Francisco Giants during the game at AT&T Park on July 5, 2009 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

The two photographs below are extra fun for me because they were shot in at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown with my iPhone!

Instagram of Ivan Pudge Rodriguez in the dugout during the home run derby before the Hall of Fame Classic game at Doubleday Field on May 24, 2014 in Cooperstown, New York. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Instagram of Ivan Pudge Rodriguez in the dugout before the Hall of Fame Classic game at Doubleday Field on May 23, 2015 in Cooperstown, New York. (Photo by Brad Mangin)

Many of the Hall of Famers are beginning to arrive in Cooperstown today, getting ready to enjoy the weekend festivities and all the Otesaga Resort Hotel has to offer. Man I wish I was there to enjoy some time on the famous veranda with them!

What Others Are Saying

  1. Cooper Neill July 30, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    Spending the majority of my life living in or around Dallas – Pudge has always been a great ambassador for the team and the sport. I’ve run into him several times and he’s one of the nicest guys around.

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