Rangers to retire Pudge's uniform number

Rangers to retire Pudge's uniform number

DALLAS -- The Rangers have made it official: No. 7 is being retired.

The Rangers brought their 2017 Awards Banquet to an end on Friday night by announcing they are retiring Ivan Rodriguez's number this season. Former general manager Tom Grieve made the announcement at the end of the banquet, although the official ceremony won't be until August on a date to be determined.

The announcement came two days after Rodriguez was elected to the Hall of Fame. He will be inducted on July 30 in Cooperstown, N.Y., along with Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines and will enter the Hall of Fame wearing the Rangers cap on his plaque.

This has been a crazy 4-5 days since I received the call," Rodriguez told the crowd at the banquet. "I want to thank all of you. You have been a big part of me, all the support you have given me in my career. It has been a great 13 years with the Rangers. I played with six organizations but this is the best I've ever been with."

Rodriguez will be the third Rangers player to have his uniform retired along with Nolan Ryan's No. 34 and Johnny Oates' No. 26. The Rangers have also joined the rest of Major League Baseball in retiring the No. 42 of Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson.

Pudge on getting call

Rodriguez will be the sixth Hall of Famer to have played with the Rangers along with Ryan, Bert Blyleven, Gaylord Perry, Ferguson Jenkins and Rich Gossage. But he is the first one who was originally signed and made his Major League debut with the Rangers.

Rodriguez played for the Rangers from 1991-2002 before leaving as a free agent. Outfielder David Murphy took the number after being acquired from the Red Sox, but temporarily gave it up late in the 2009 season when the Rangers acquired Rodriguez from the Astros.

It will not be worn again.

"It's great," Rodriguez said. "It is just another great honor. That's how much respect the organization has for me to do that. I knew they were probably going to do it and they were waiting for the right moment. I'm glad they are doing it in the year I am going to the Hall of Fame." 

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989 and for MLB.com since 2006. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.