Opening 25-year-old baseball cards with Ivan 'Pudge' Rodriguez

How do you get ready for the Hall of Fame? Well, if you’re the soon-to-be immortal Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, you open up some 25-year-old baseball cards and share stories with Yahoo Sports.

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Pudge is this week’s guest on our nostalgic baseball card series where we ask players to rip into some old wax packs (in this case, 1992 Topps) and talk about the players they find. He’s just a few days away from getting enshrined in the Hall of Fame with Tim Raines and Jeff Bagwell. It’s happening Sunday. Pudge joined us on behalf of Esurance, for who he was an ambassador at the recent MLB All-Star game in Miami.

As he opened his cards, Rodriguez found another Hall of Famer he knows pretty well — Nolan Ryan. Pudge tells us about a time he was catching a near no-hitter with Ryan. They’re so close that Ryan wrote one of the forewords for Rodriguez’s upcoming memoir “They Call Me Pudge.”

Pudge Rodriguez opening 25-year-old baseball cards. (Yahoo Sports)
Pudge Rodriguez opening 25-year-old baseball cards. (Yahoo Sports)

If you’re new to this series, I take the old baseball cards my grandma bought back in the day and open them with baseball people. The cards are worthless now, but the stories are usually pretty great. If you dig this episode, be sure to check out some of previous ones below:

Previously in 25-Year-Old Baseball Cards
MUST-SEE EPISODES: Bronson Arroyo | Eric Davis | Dusty Baker | Hank Azaria | Alex Rodriguez | Scott Boras | A.J. Ellis | Alyssa Milano

MANAGERS/COACHES: Terry Francona | Joe Maddon | Bruce Bochy | Clint Hurdle | Buck Showalter | Brad Mills | Bob Melvin

CURRENT PLAYERS: Noah Syndergaard | Kyle Hendricks | Clayton Kershaw | Todd Coffey | John Axford | Dee Gordon

STARS FROM BACK IN THE DAY: Frank Thomas | Sandy Alomar Jr. | Delino DeShields | Cliff Floyd | Dan Plesac | Aaron Boone | Bobby Bonilla | Andre Dawson

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!