PHOENIX -- The ball sat in Ivan Rodriguez's locker at Chase Field, ready to be presented to the man who helped foster one of the greatest catching careers in baseball history.
After clubbing his 300th home run as a catcher, Pudge could think of only one worthy recipient: His father, Jose Rodriguez, who has attended many Nationals games this season and was in the crowd last night when his son reached this latest milestone.
"It took me a long time," said Rodriguez, who hadn't homered since May 16. "But it's always special to have my dad [here]."
Rodriguez became only the fifth catcher in baseball history in the 300-homer club, joining Mike Piazza, Carlton Fisk, Johnny Bench and Yogi Berra. He still wants to become the first catcher in the 3,000-hit club, but he remains 218 shy of that goal and figures to receive less playing time in 2011 as the Nationals try to get a look at newly acquired Wilson Ramos behind the plate.
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