COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- Ivan Rodriguez is having a busy weekend in upstate New York. There was a dinner on Friday night with his new fraternity brothers and a golf tournament and parade on Saturday.On Sunday, he will give a speech when he is inducted into the Hall of Fame.But Rodriguez
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- Ivan Rodriguez is having a busy weekend in upstate New York. There was a dinner on Friday night with his new fraternity brothers and a golf tournament and parade on Saturday.
On Sunday, he will give a speech when he is inducted into the Hall of Fame.
But Rodriguez has still been able to pay attention to what's going on with Adrian Beltre back in Arlington and his march to 3,000 career hits.
:: 2017 Hall of Fame induction coverage ::
"Two hits away," Rodriguez said, knowing that Beltre had two singles in the Rangers' 8-2 win over the Orioles on Friday night.
"I want him to get one today and one tomorrow when I'm up there [on the podium]," Rodriguez said. "I want to announce it. I want to be able to congratulate him. He has been amazing. I love being able to watch this … 3,000 hits. It's unbelievable just to reach 3,000 hits."
Rodriguez has had a perfect seat the past few years as a Rangers special assistant who often sits in the front row next to the home dugout.
"He is going to go way past 3,000 hits," Rodriguez said. "He has a lot of games left in him. I am very happy for him. He is a great guy, I've gotten to know him well and have been able to talk to him in the clubhouse. He is a great leader."
The possibility is growing -- perhaps overwhelming -- that Beltre will one day have his own special weekend in Cooperstown. It seems that 3,000 hits would be the clincher, if there is any doubt left at this point.
Rodriguez can be a witness that it will be a great experience for Beltre. Rodriguez's first official event was on Friday night when Hall of Fame chairman Jane Forbes Clark hosted a dinner for all the Hall of Famers who have returned for induction weekend.
There is more to come leading up to Sunday's induction ceremony for Rodriguez, Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Bud Selig and John Schuerholz.
"It's a dream being here," Rodriguez said. "You play for so long -- 21 years in the big leagues -- and wait five years for this. It's great to see all the Hall of Famers in the same hotel. You feel like longtime friends.
"I talked to some of the guys in the Hall of Fame. They said just to enjoy yourself and be yourself. They said, 'I know you are going to be nervous but just enjoy every minute.' A lot of the guys said, 'Welcome to the Hall of Fame, welcome to the family.' That was great."
Rodriguez was elected in the first year of eligibility. He joins Johnny Bench as the only catchers to be first-ballot Hall of Famers.
"This is what you work for," Rodriguez said. "Now, when you sign your autograph, you put 'HOF '17' next to it. That's the top of the top. To be in this beautiful town and be a part of the family of the Hall of Fame forever, it's amazing."
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.