Pudge set to hang up mitt for good Monday

Pudge set to hang up mitt for good Monday

Pudge is calling it quits.

Ivan Rodriguez, one of the most decorated catchers in big league history, will announce his retirement from a 21-year career on Monday, and he'll do it where it all began. Rodriguez, who came up to the Majors as a 19-year-old with the Rangers in 1991, will be in Texas for a celebratory news conference beginning at 2 p.m. CT. It can be seen live at MLB.com.

At his best, Rodriguez was known for stifling defense and power at the plate. The strong-armed backstop won 13 Gold Gloves and caught more games (2,427) than any other player in big league history. The 40-year-old retires with a .296 career average and 311 home runs, and the 14-time All-Star batted .300 or better in 10 seasons.

Rodriguez played in 1,500 of those games with the Rangers, and he ranks second in club history in hits (1,747), doubles (352) and multihit games (490). Rodriguez, who won the 1999 American League Most Valuable Player Award with the Rangers, will announce his retirement at 2 p.m. CT at the Texas Rangers Baseball Hall of Fame, a place he'll likely be inducted to in relatively short order.

Rodriguez also played for the Marlins, Tigers, Yankees and Astros before making a return to Texas in 2009, and he finished his career by playing two seasons with the Washington Nationals. Texas will honor Rodriguez with an on-field ceremony prior to Monday's game against the Yankees, and the former catcher will also get to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.