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As Hall calls Pudge, Beltre continues 3K quest

MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

ARLINGTON -- This is a huge week for two Rangers icons. Ivan Rodriguez is being inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday and Adrian Beltre is approaching 3,000 career hits.

Beltre needs two hits to reach 3,000 going into Saturday's game against the Orioles. Since Texas has a day game on Sunday and the induction ceremony is that afternoon, there is a possibility that Beltre could get his landmark hit at the same time Rodriguez is giving his induction speech in Cooperstown.

ARLINGTON -- This is a huge week for two Rangers icons. Ivan Rodriguez is being inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday and Adrian Beltre is approaching 3,000 career hits.

Beltre needs two hits to reach 3,000 going into Saturday's game against the Orioles. Since Texas has a day game on Sunday and the induction ceremony is that afternoon, there is a possibility that Beltre could get his landmark hit at the same time Rodriguez is giving his induction speech in Cooperstown.

MLB Network's exclusive live coverage of the 2017 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony -- simulcast live on MLB.com -- will begin with MLB Tonight on Sunday at noon ET, followed by the ceremony at 1:30 p.m. Prior to Sunday's live coverage, MLB Network will televise the 2017 Hall of Fame Awards Presentation at 11 a.m., featuring Rachel Robinson (Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award), Claire Smith (the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for writers) and the posthumous honoring of Bill King (Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasters). The presentation will also commemorate the 25th anniversary of the release of the film "A League of Their Own."

:: 2017 Hall of Fame induction coverage ::

Rodriguez will enter the Hall of Fame as a Ranger, while Beltre will likely do the same sometime in the next 10 years or so. Some comparisons from their distinguished careers:

Hall of Fame credentials
Rodriguez: A 14-time All-Star, 13 Gold Gloves, seven Silver Slugger Awards and the 1999 American League Most Valuable Player Award winner. All-time leader in games caught.
Beltre: Not done yet, but could finish with more than 3,000 hits and 500 home runs. Four-time All-Star and four-time Silver Slugger winner, five-time Gold Glove winner.

Signature Rangers moment
Rodriguez: Major League debut: June 20, 1991. He had a two-run single and showed off his arm by throwing out two would-be basestealers in a 7-3 win over the White Sox.
Beltre: Hit three home runs in a 4-3 victory over the Rays in the deciding Game 4 of the 2011 AL Division Series.

Video: MIA@TEX: Beltre moves to within four hits of 3,000

Greatest year
Rodriguez: Hit .332 with a career-high 35 home runs and 113 RBIs as the AL MVP Award winner in 1999. He also threw out 54.7 percent of attempted basestealers.
Beltre: Had a career-high .334 batting average, 48 home runs and 121 RBIs for the Dodgers in 2004, finishing second to Barry Bonds in the National League MVP Award voting.

Statistical oddity
Rodriguez: Basestealers were successful on 34 stolen-base attempts against Rodriguez in 1999. That's the fewest against a catcher with at least 140 games caught since 1974.
Beltre: Has never had a bunt hit. He has 10,471 career at-bats without a bunt hit, the most by a Major League hitter in the past 60 years.

The boss said
"He's one of those guys fans would pay money to go watch play."
-- former Rangers general manager Tom Grieve, on Rodriguez

"To see what he plays through … I don't think he can hit unless something is hurting.
-- Rangers manager Jeff Banister, on Beltre

Trademark play
Rodriguez: Laser throws to second base.
Beltre: Home run swings finishing on one knee.

Quirky move
Rodriguez: Writhing in agony, face down in the dirt, after taking a foul ball off the body and somehow finding a way to stay in the game.
Beltre: As a hitter, motioning to first and appealing his own check swings.

Comeback year
Rodriguez: The Rangers let Rodriguez go as a free agent after the 2002 season. He was 31 and there were concerns about health and durability. Pudge signed a one-year deal with the Marlins and led them to the 2003 World Series title. That led to a five-year deal from the Tigers.
Beltre: Five mediocre years -- by his standards -- with the Mariners from 2005-09 forced Beltre to sign a one-year deal with the Red Sox in 2010. He hit .321 with 28 home runs and 102 RBIs, and he ended up getting a six-year deal with the Rangers.

Other positions
Rodriguez: Eight games at first base; two innings at second base.
Beltre: Seven games, including one start, at shortstop; one inning at second base.

The opposition says
"He was the best defensive catcher I played against. Where he ranks in games caught, his offensive from the position and his defensive prowess, it's a no-brainer he's a Hall of Famer."
-- Hall of Fame infielder Paul Molitor, on Rodriguez

"Dodgers, Seattle, Texas -- I've seen him from the wrong dugout for a long time."
-- Angels manager Mike Scioscia, on Beltre

Most similar hitter according to Baseball-Reference
Rodriguez: Carlton Fisk
Beltre: Andre Dawson

Loved to face
Rodriguez: Brad Radke -- 29-for-71 (.408) eight home runs, 14 RBIs, .803 slugging percentage.
Beltre: Livan Hernandez -- 20-for-49 (.408), five home runs, 11 RBIs, .898 slugging percentage.

Chip off the block
Rodriguez: Son Dereck, 25, is a pitcher in the Twins' organization.
Beltre: Adrian Jr., 10, has his own locker in the Rangers' clubhouse.

Secret passion
Rodriguez: Speed boats.
Beltre: Horse racing.

Home
Rodriguez: Born in Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, and currently lives in the Greater Miami area.
Beltre: Born in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic and current lives in the Greater Los Angeles area.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

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