Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Aurelio Rodríguez, born Aurelio Rodríguez Ituarte, Jr. (December 28, 1947 – September 23, 2000), was a third baseman in Major League Baseball who played for the California Angels (1969-70), Washington Senators (1970), Detroit Tigers (1971-79), San Diego Padres (1980), New York Yankees (1980-81), Chicago White Sox (1982, 1983) and Baltimore Orioles (1983). He batted and threw right handed.
A native of Cananea, Mexico, Rodríguez broke into the major leagues with the Angels in 1967, and was traded to Washington early in the 1970 season. Rodríguez went to Detroit before 1971 in an eight-player trade that brought Denny McLain to the Senators.
Rodríguez was a model of consistency at third base for the Tigers during the 1970s. He proved not to be that good a hitter, but he had sure hands and was blessed wit a strong, accurate arm. In 1975 he earned Gold Glove honors, becoming the first American League third baseman since 1959 to beat out Brooks Robinson. Rodríguez also led the league third basemen in fielding percentage in 1976 and 1978. Playing for the Yankees in the 1981 World Series, he hit .417 (5-for-12). His big-league career with seven teams ended in 1983.
Rodríguez was a .237 hitter with 124 home runs and 648 RBI in 2017 games. His most productive season came in 1970, when he posted career-highs in home runs (19), RBI (83), runs (70) and stolen bases (15).
Rodríguez died in Detroit, Michigan, after being hit by a car on the city's southwest side. He was 53.
- Sparky Anderson was Rodriguez's manager in 1979, the player's last year in Detroit. "He probably had as good a pair of hands on him as anybody, and a great arm -- the only two arms I've ever seen like that, Travis Fryman and him. This guy was a great third baseman", Anderson said. 
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