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Pudge officially retires

Ivan Rodriguez announced his retirement at a news conference on Monday after 21 years as a big league catcher.

"Pudge" spent the majority of his career with the Texas Rangers. Rodriguez is the all-time major league leader with 2,427 games caught and set a record with 13 Gold Glove awards. He had a career average of .296 with 311 home runs and 1,332 runs batted in over 2,543 games with the Rangers, Marlins, Tigers, Yankees, Astros and Nationals.

"Today is a very hard day for me," Rodriguez said. "It's been a great, great run -- 21 years have been beautiful."

A 14-time All-Star who started a record 12 Mid-Summer Classics, Rodriguez made his big league debut with the Rangers on June 20, 1991 at age 19 and spent the next 11 seasons with Texas before joining the Marlins as a free agent for the 2003 season.

In his lone season with Florida, he helped the club to its second World Series title. He then spent 4 1/2 seasons with Detroit, leading the Tigers to the 2006 American League pennant, before playing the last two months of the 2008 campaign in New York.

Rodriguez split 2009 with Houston and Texas, then spent his final two seasons with Washington. A strained oblique muscle kept him sidelined for nearly two months in 2011, when he finished with a .218 average in just 44 games.

The native of Puerto Rico appeared in 1,507 games with the Rangers, winning the AL MVP with Texas in 1999 when he batted .332 with 35 homers and 113 runs batted in. He is second in club history with 1,747 hits and 352 doubles, while ranking third in team annals with 217 homers.

"I want to thank the fans here from Texas and fans from all over baseball. Thanks to the all the organizations I've played with," Rodriguez added.