Pudge Rodriguez throws first pitch to 2B

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers and Ivan Rodriguez put a nice twist on the ceremonial first pitch prior to Monday's game.

Rodriguez went to the mound, but had his catcher's mitt on. Instead of throwing a pitch off the rubber, he trotted back behind home plate and former teammate Michael Young went to second base. Rodriguez's throw was, of course, on the money.

It was the end of a nice ceremony for Rodriguez. Wearing a blue Rangers golf shirt and red Texas cap, Rodriguez rode into the stadium on a convertible and was given a standing ovation as he waved to fans.

The current Rangers and coaches lined up and watched the ceremony from the dugout as did many Yankees players, along with manager Joe Girardi.

Tom Grieve, the general manager who signed Rodriguez as a teenager in 1988, presented Rodriguez with a framed white No. 7 Rangers jersey with his name on it. Rangers CEO and Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, who played with Rodriguez for a few years, spoke a few words and gave him a crystal memento to commemorate his years with Texas. The Rangers also prepared a video montage of Rodriguez’s greatest moments as a Ranger.

Rodriguez made some brief remarks, thanking the Rangers, his family and the fans for his time in Texas. Then he threw his "pitch" to second base.

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