The 100 Greatest in 100 Days: #94 Pudge Rodriguez

Entering the list at #94 is Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez. It would be hard to argue that Pudge isn’t the greatest defensive catcher of all time.  His 13 gold gloves are the most by a catcher in MLB history. He’s first all-time in defensive games played at catcher with 2, 427 which is over 200 games ahead of second place. He’s the all-time leader in defensive WAR among catchers and 8th overall regardless of position. Pudge led the league in caught stealing % a remarkable nine times. No other catcher has done it even 7 times and nobody has done it more than four times in more than 70 years. As great as Pudge was defensively, a combination of defensive and offensive brilliance won him the American League MVP in 1999 as he became the first catcher in either league to take home the award in 23 years. While Pudge’s calling card was his defense, he was no slouch with the bat. He is the all-time hits leader among catchers with 350 more than the next highest mark. He’s also the all-time leader at catcher in doubles and runs, and his 127 career stolen bases are the 3rd highest total by a catcher in more than 90 years. In 2004, Pudge led the Marlins to one of the biggest upsets in World Series history over the heavily favored New York Yankees. He also helped revitalize a dormant Tigers franchise, leading Detroit to its first World Series appearance in 22 years.

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