Rodriguez left an imprint on the Nationals

Mentoring Ramos, Flores was his major contribution

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Rodriguez’s legacy will be left to those who debate Hall of Fame credentials, one that rages in particular for players whose careers reached their echelon during a time when performance enhancers were rampant.

Rodriguez’s 2,844 hits are more than any catcher in major-league history. His 311 home runs rank 118th all time, his 46 percent success rate against attempted base stealers is 15 percent higher than the major league average during his career. Johnson called him “arguably the greatest defensive catcher I’ve ever seen.”

Rodriguez’s final inning in uniform was spent catching Drew Storen, one of the youngest pitchers on the Nationals’ staff and perhaps the one Rodriguez had the most effect on. Their mutual affection was obvious with each save they collected.

After eight pitches, two strikeouts and a scoreless ninth in the Nationals’ final game of the year, Rodriguez squeezed Storen’s final pitch of the season and came out to congratulate the young closer. Storen put his right hand up for a high five. Rodriguez went in for a hug.

That was it.

Johnson didn’t need to see anymore.

“I’ve admired Pudge for a long time,” he said. “He’s a Hall of Famer.”

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