Rizzo thanks Pudge upon retirement

Rizzo thanks Pudge upon retirement
April 24, 2012, 11:12 pm
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Though he technically retired as a Ranger, returning to the site where he spent the majority of his career and donning a Texas cap one last time, Ivan Rodriguez's final two seasons in the big leagues were spent in Washington.

And Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo wanted to make sure Rodriguez knew how much those two years meant to him.

Rizzo sent a letter to Rodriguez today, one day after the catcher's retirement announcement in Arlington, Texas, expressing his gratitude to a player who very well may become the first Hall of Fame inductee to have worn the Nationals uniform.

The Nationals sent copies of the letter to members of the media. Here it is in its entirety...

Pudge,

As I watched the announcement of your retirement yesterday, I felt a deep sense of honor at having shared in a portion of your illustrious career. Every Nationals player fortunate enough to have been your teammate will carry with him a perpetual pride and gratitude.

Your signed jersey, framed and hanging on my office wall, is a sentimental reflection of my personal esteem, as you were my first real free agent signing as a GM. It was a signing which proved to be not only productive, but one with an important lasting impact. The world knows you did a tremendous job behind the plate. But it is the effort you devoted in mentoring our young players, especially our catchers, which impacts our team today and will do so for years to come. Neither Stephen Strasburg nor I will ever forget how your sense of calm helped steady him during his legendary debut.

You are and will remain a special part of this team, and a shining star in my personal career. The Washington Nationals wish you a fulfilling and rewarding Next Chapter.

I look forward to seeing you soon.

With gratitude and respect,

Mike Rizzo
Executive Vice President & General Manager