Coach, Texas Rangers
September 20, 1950,
in Beeville, Texas
Currently in his 15th major league season with the Texas Rangers, Rudy is the longest tenured batting coach in Ranger history. He is a 30-year baseball veteran, 26 of which have been with the Rangers. He attended Panola College from 1970-1972 where he was an All American and led the nation in RBI’s. He then played for the University of Texas during for the 1972-1973 season and was drafted by the Texas Rangers that same year. He played Minor League ball for the Rangers for 4 seasons until an on field injury ended his career. He became a Minor League coach for the Rangers in 1983, was a Minor League Manager from 1984-1986, when the team won the Grapefruit League Championship, and the Rangers Minor League Hitting Coordinator from 1987-1989. Rudy became the Major League Hitting Coach for Houston Astros in 1990, when Jeff Bagwell received National League Rookie of the Year honors, and held that position through the 1993 season.
Rudy became the Texas Rangers Hitting Coach in 1995 and under his tutelage, Juan Gonzalez received American League MVP Awards in 1996 and 1998, Ivan (Pudge) Rodriguez in 1999 and Alex Rodriguez in 2003. Five-time All Star Michael Young won the AL Batting Title in 2005 and was the All Star Game MVP in 2006.
Rudy is highly regarded by players, colleagues, sports reporters and announcers, ESPN analysts, Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News, USA Today, Baseball Weekly and Baseball America as the best batting coach in baseball. Rudy was inducted in to The Texas Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002. The Texas Rangers honored him with the Joe Macko Award, for long and distinguished service, in 2003. In 2005, its first time ever honoring a coach, Baseball America honored Rudy with a prestigious Coach of the Year Award. 2007 brought Rudy a South Texas Baseball Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2008 he was inducted into The Panola College Athletic Hall of Fame, The Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame and the Texas Rangers won the AL Batting Title.