Sunday, January 22, 2017

Ivan changed the game with his electric arm

As I recall, Ivan Rodriguez broke with the Rangers in 1991 on the road in Chicago.  It was the start of an amazing career that took him to the Hall of Fame in 2017.

What was the reason that we remember him after all of those years?   

Was it 2844 hits or a .296 career batting average?   or catching 2,427 games?  311 HR & 1,332 RBI?

The answer is his electric arm or his ability to kill a rally by picking of a runner at second or first.    Evan Grant remembers:
The first time Ivan Rodriguez threw the baseball to second base for a member of the Texas Rangers organization, it traveled at 93 mph. The first time he threw it to the base in a major league game, it reached the base before poor, unsuspecting baserunner Joey Cora even started his slide.
A legend was quickly born.
Over time, Ivan not just picked off runners.    He also forced runners to cut down their leads thus making a double play a little easier or keeping many from reaching third on a single.       It changed the game as any manager on the other side will tell you.

It was amazing for many of us watching on TV as well.     We would watch the game expecting Rodriguez to pick off runners.

Congratulations Ivan!


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