Reasons I consider this post’s video interview remarkable:
- I got to drink beer on the job
- I drank it with a Hall of Famer
- Pudge Rodríguez sat still for four minutes
I caught up with Iván “Pudge” Rodríguez at a launch event for his new beer, 13 Gold. Allen’s Nine Band Brewing produces it and the glasses, cans, and other artwork feature Pudge prominently. The name comes from the number of Gold Glove Awards he won during his career. Each season, Major League Baseball gives them out to the player judged to have performed the best defensively as his position. No catcher ever won more, and Rodríguez is tied with Ozzie Smith for fourth overall at any position, behind Gregg Maddux, Brooks Robinson, and Jim Kaat.
The brew itself also is golden in color. The light lager features just a touch of hops, enough to give it some distinctive flavor but not enough to turn off the never-IPA crowd. Some restaurants in Dallas and Collin Counties, including the Village Burger Bar and Christies Sports Bar & Grill, have started to carry it. You’ll be able to find it in cans later this summer, including at Globe Life Park in Arlington.
So I got to drink it while doing an interview to, um, lend journalistic authenticity. But I daresay I’m not the first Fort Worth Weekly staffer to imbibe while producing content (in fact, come to think of it, I know that for certain). The greater accomplishment might have been getting Pudge in one place for long enough to do the interview. Some ballplayers retire and just go play golf all the time. Not him. While he does play his share of golf to fuel his competitive juices, he also has a number of business interests, including his own brand of coffee and endorsing a tequila. He flies to his native Puerto Rico for business and charity interests (and to see family). Miami and Colombia (his wife’s home country) also feature in his travel plans. Plus he appears as an analyst on Fox Sports Southwest’s Rangers pregame and postgame shows. At the launch event. he never stood still. If he wasn’t posing for a photo with an attendee, he was at the tap pouring beers and signing glasses or exchanging thoughts with Mavericks General Manager Donnie Nelson and Stars Hall of Famer Ed Belfour (who are themselves not short on energy).
The guy still has that drive that made him great on the ballfield, and he still has the smile that endeared him to North Texas sports fans. And now he has a beer for them, too.