July 14, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria (right) presents framed photos and newspapers of former Florida Marlins catcher Ivan Rodriguez (left) during a ceremony before the game between the Marlins and Washington Nationals at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Welcome back to the Greatest Moments in Marlins History. Today we are taking you back to January 24, 2003 for an off-season move that changed Marlins history forever. Moment 88 is the press conference to announce Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez is a Marlin!
January 24, 2003 was a very busy day for Pudge. He flew in from Puerto Rico, spent a good part of the day hammering out his contract, took a physical, and finished up with a press conference that same afternoon. Pudge signed a one-year deal worth 10 million dollars to be the new catcher for the Marlins. It was great to see Pudge put on that #7 Marlins jersey and hat and take a few questions from the press that were there.
Although the moment from that press conference that every Marlin fan remembers is Pudge’s famous playoff comment. “My goal is the playoffs! The team we have here can do it. One of my jobs is to support my teammates. Making the playoffs is important.” After the Marlins had a not so great 2002, playoff were the last thing on everyone’s mind in 2003, but Pudge’s word made us all believe that we were going to make it in 2003. Boy was he right!
Only 88 days until Opening Day and plenty more Greatest Moments to come. So join me next time as we continue the countdown!