Texas Rangers Story Today: Ivan ‘Pudge’ Rodriguez’s Three-Way Game

On this date in Texas Rangers history, Iván ‘Pudge’ Rodríguez joined a select group of receivers for his work at home plate.

On September 11, 1997, Rodríguez and the Rangers faced the Minnesota Twins at Arlington Ballpark. Rangers won 7-0 and Rodríguez was the main reason.

Pudge went 3-for-4 to the plate, leading five runs and scoring three of his own. But it wasn’t just the blows that did it. It was the home runs.

Rodríguez hit three home runs in the game. He hit a pair against Twins starter Brad Radke, both of which were two-point blasts. The other, in the eighth inning, came from future Rangers reliever Eddie Guardado.

Yes, Rodríguez has hit three home runs. Big deal, right? Yes, for the catchers. Pudge became only the eighth wide receiver in Major League history to hit three home runs in a game, joining Mickey Cochrane, Bill Dickey, Don Leppert, Bill Freehan, Ernie Whitt, Mike Stanley and Dan Wilson.

Cochrane and Dickey, like Rodríguez, are in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Stanley was, at one point, a teammate with Rodríguez, when he broke into the Majors with the Rangers in 1986 and played for Texas until 1991. Stanley managed his three home games with the Yankees in New York in 1995.

Rodríguez finished with 311 home runs for his career. That places him among a group of seven receivers who have hit at least 300 home runs in their career in 2021.

Also on this date …

September 11, 1990: The New York Yankees beat the Texas Rangers 5-4, a victory that ended Texas pitcher Bobby Witt’s 12-game winning streak.

More from SI Inside the Rangers:


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