Catcher Ivan Rodriguez and outfielder Tim Raines’s names will be added to the Ring of Honor at Nationals Park before Monday’s game against the Marlins, one month after the duo, who combined to play less than one full season’s worth of games for Washington, were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Is Nook Logan next?
You’re forgiven if you can’t recall a highlight involving Rodriguez from his time in D.C. Pudge finished his 21-year career by playing 155 games for the Nationals in 2010 and 2011. His Hall of Fame plaque features him in the Texas Rangers cap he wore for the first 12 seasons of his career, but he does hold the distinction of being the first player to play for Washington’s most recent MLB team to be enshrined in Cooperstown.
Raines, who played 13 of his 23 big league seasons in Montreal and retired in 2002, joins Andre Dawson and Gary Carter as the third former Expos player to have his name displayed at Nationals Park along the facade of the suite level. Walter Johnson, Harmon Killebrew and Goose Goslin are among the former Senators honored.
When the Nationals first unveiled the Ring of Honor with 18 names in August 2010, honorees had to have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame and to have played “significant years” with the Nationals, Senators, Homestead Grays or Expos. Frank Robinson, who managed the Expos from 2002 to 2004 and the Nationals in 2005 and 2006 after the franchise relocated from Montreal, was inducted into the Nationals’ Ring of Honor in 2015. The team changed its criteria for induction last season when it honored Frank Howard. Hondo hit 237 home runs for the Senators, the most in D.C. baseball history until Ryan Zimmerman surpassed that mark last month, but he isn’t in the Hall of Fame.
Rodriguez, the 1999 American League MVP and a 14-time all-star, didn’t play “significant years” with the Nationals, though he was in D.C. as the team transitioned from laughingstock of the league to contender. Rodriguez was 38 when Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo signed him as a free agent to a two-year, $6 million deal during the 2009 winter meetings.
“I thought it was an important signing for us at the time,” Rizzo recently told The Post’s Adam Kilgore. “It turned out to be one of the best things we’ve done. He taught us to be a professional franchise.”
The Nationals will also dedicate Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez Field at Mason District Park in Annandale on Monday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. It’s the second field to be renovated as part of the Nationals Dream Foundation’s Legacy Fields program. Ryan Zimmerman Field, located at the intersection of I Street and South Capitol Street SE, opened in April 2016.