Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez recruited to ask for Puerto Rico statehood

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Puerto Rico's governor has recruited retired baseball star Ivan Rodriguez to help argue for statehood for the United States territory.

Ricardo Rossello on Monday appointed the Hall of Famer to a commission charged with going to the U.S. Congress to demand statehood.

It's a strategy Tennessee used to join the union in the 18th century.

Other members include two former Puerto Rico governors and a former president of the island's Senate.

Rossello said late Monday that Rodriguez would provide a nonpartisan perspective.

The appointments come nearly a month after Puerto Rico held a referendum in which 23 percent of voters participated and more than half-a-million chose statehood. U.S. Congress has to approve any changes to Puerto Rico's political status.