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Ivan Rodriguez and the ceremonial first pitch that wasn't [Video]

April 24, 2012|By Chuck Schilken

Ivan Rodriguez returned to Rangers Ballpark on Monday to throw out a ceremonial first pitch after earlier in the day announcing his retirement following a 21-year career. But as the public address announcer told the crowd, "It doesn't seem right, ladies and gentlemen."

So instead of tossing a pitch, the player known as "Pudge" walked from the mound to a much more familiar spot -- behind home plate. The 14-time All-Star catcher sent Michael Young out to second base and fired one last throw across the diamond, much to the delight of the crowd.

It was an appropriate send-off for a player who started his major league career with Texas at age 19 and more than 12 seasons in a Rangers uniform.

“It's a very hard day for me,” Rodriguez said earlier in the day. “It's been a great, great run. … It's been beautiful.”

Rodriguez said he has no intention of leaving baseball, and Rangers President Nolan Ryan indicated there have been preliminary discussions about bringing the popular player back to the organization in some capacity.

“I'm always going to be in baseball the rest of my life,” Rodriguez said. “I'll be in baseball, and I'll be active and I'll be doing things; you'll definitely see me around.”

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Ivan Rodriguez and the ceremonial first pitch that wasn't [Video]

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