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The Major League Baseball Hall of Fame occupies a special spot in the hearts and minds of fans and players, even when compared to those of other professional leagues. The strict threshold for admission requires garnering approval from 75 of the voters, and recent players are only allowed 10 years of consideration on the ballot before their name is removed and their shot at the Hall is gone.

Being elite doesn’t guarantee admission, and deserving players often find themselves on the outside looking in. This year, only three players made the cut, and Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, considered by many to be on the bubble, was one of them.


He was no more sure of his standing than fans were, waiting for the ballots and subsequent announcements to come in.

Here he is, finding out live at his home while those close to him look on, no doubt as anxious as he is.

This follow-up tweet, written in Spanish for his legion of Latin American fans, shows him tearing up, still shaky, as the shock wears off and emotion sets in.

This was Pudge’s first year on the ballot, which also makes it perhaps the most nerve-wracking, as being denied in the first year suggests diminishing chances as more candidates arise and the ten-year clock starts ticking.

The honor comes following a distinguished career for one of the most fearsome defensive catchers in the game’s history. His 21-year career boasted 14 All-Star appearances and 13 Gold Gloves, recognizing his play in the field.

He’s the fourth Puerto Rican native to find his way to Cooperstown, and when the dust settled following these videos, he was no less gracious and endearing in a statement via ESPN:

"From day one, I loved the game of baseball and I took a lot of pride every single day and I was a winner. That's probably the bottom line from all of this. I appreciate being in the Hall of Fame because of the hard work I did through my whole career. To be so durable for so many years and play 120-125 games a year, it tells you that if you're strong mentally and physically, you can play this game for a long time.''

While the nickname “Pudge” has been etched in the minds of baseball fans for the past 30 years, it’s now going to find its way to a plaque in the Baseball Hall of Fame, and these videos assure us the iconic catcher doesn’t take that distinction lightly.

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