Rodriguez selected for Rangers Hall of Fame

Ivan Rodriguez, one of the cornerstones of the Texas Rangers rise in the 1990s, has been selected as the newest member for the team’s Hall of Fame.

Rodriguez, the 16th member of the Hall of Fame, will be honored before the July 20 game against the Baltimore Orioles.

“It means a lot to me,” said Rodriguez, who took a job with the organization earlier this year. “It was a great honor for me when I heard the news a couple of days ago when I got the news from Nolan and Jim Sundberg.”

Rodriguez spent the first 12 years of his career in Arlington, winning 10 Gold Gloves, earning 10 All-Star trips and the 1999 American League most valuable player honor.

He is second in club history in hits (1747), doubles (352), and multi-hit games (490), ranks third in at bats (5754), triples (28), and homers, and places fourth in games, runs (866), RBI, total bases (2806) and extra base hits (597).

He returned to Texas following a trade from Houston at the end of 2009 and made his retirement announcement following the 2011 season at Rangers Ballpark.

Rodriguez rejoined the Rangers in February as a special assistant to the general manager as well as an instructor and team ambassador. Rodriguez was one of the team’s representatives at the first-year player draft Thursday night.

Being back with the organization in which he started his career makes sense for Rodriguez.

“I’m extremely happy coming back here,” he said. “This is great to me and I’ve been having a great time, spending time with the guys on the major league side and on the minor league side. It’s great to be back here in Texas. It’s the beginning of a long time here and hopefully I can stay here for a long time. Right now I feel very comfortable with what I’m doing.”

While Rodriguez will be the lone inductee in July, that didn’t have to be the case. The selection committee, which is made up of media members, Rangers officials and other members of the team’s Hall of Fame, also recommended that Juan Gonzalez be inducted.

But Gonzalez, who won a pair of AL MVPs with the Rangers and played a total of 13 seasons with the club, declined the honor.

Rodriguez had no problem with his former teammate’s choice.

“Juan is a great person, a great human being,” Rodriguez said.  “Sometimes we have to respect people’s decision. That was his decision. What he did for the organization and what he did for the Rangers are something we’re not going to forget.”