TRIBUTE TO IVAN RODRIGUEZ
(Extensions of Remarks - December 03, 1999)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E2535]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                       TRIBUTE TO IVAN RODRIGUEZ

                                 ______
                                 

                          HON. JOSE E. SERRANO

                              of new york

                    in the house of representatives

                       Monday, November 22, 1999

  Mr. SERRANO. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to Mr. Ivan 
Rodriguez, an outstanding Puerto Rican athlete and a very successful 
baseball player. On Thursday, November 18, Ivan was named the 1999 
American League Most Valuable Player by the Baseball Writers 
Association of America. It marks the first time that a catcher has 
captured an MVP in either league since Thurman Munson of the New York 
Yankees in 1976. Ivan becomes the ninth catcher in major league history 
to win a Most Valuable Player Award.
  It is the sixth MVP for a native of Puerto Rico with the others being 
Roberto Clemente in 1966, St. Louis' Orlando Cepeda in 1967, Detroit's 
Willie Hernandez in 1984, and Juan Gonzalez in 1996 and 1998.
  Born on November, 30, 1971 in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, Ivan was named 
on all 28 ballots, with seven 1st place votes, six 2nd place votes, 
seven 3rd place votes, five 5th place votes, two 6th place votes, and a 
seventh place vote for 252 points.
  Mr. Speaker, Ivan batted .332 with 35 homers and 113 RBIs in 144 
games in 1999. He established an American League record for home runs 
by a catcher and was the first backstop in league history with 30 
homers, 100 RBIs, and 100 runs scored. Ivan also had 25 stolen bases, 
tied for fifth most ever for a catcher, and was the first major league 
catcher ever with 20+ homers and 20+ steals. He was fifth in the 
American League in hits (199), and ranked seventh in average, runs 
(116-tied), and total bases (335). His .332 average was the highest for 
an American League catcher since New York's Bill Dickey (.332) in 
1937).
  Behind the plate, Ivan won his eighth consecutive Rawlings Gold Glove 
Award, the second most in history behind Johnny Bench. He threw out 
54.2% (39 of 72) of the runners attempting to steal, the fifth straight 
year he has led the majors in that department. It was the highest 
percentage since statistics were first kept. Ivan also led major league 
catchers with 141 starts and had ten pure pickoffs.
  Ivan also captured his sixth consecutive A.L. Silver Slugger Award 
and was selected as the catcher on the Associated Press Major League 
All-Star Team.
  Through his dedication, discipline, and success in baseball, Ivan 
serves as a role model for millions of youngsters in the United States 
and Puerto Rico who dream of succeeding, like him, in the world of 
baseball.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues to join me in congratulating Mr. 
Ivan Rodriguez for his contributions and dedication to baseball, as 
well as for serving as role model for the youth of Puerto Rico and the 
U.S.A.

                          ____________________