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'Pudge' Rodriguez dedicated renovated baseball field

Ivan Rodriguez spending some time with kids in Annandale today

It was a special day for newly-inducted Hall-of-Fame catcher Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez.

"It is exciting, he was always a favorite," said Velma Smith of Falls Church, Va.

The former Washington catcher and the Nationals Dream Foundation dedicated this renovated field in his name for Little League players at Mason District Park in Annandale, Va.

"My goal is to continue doing this it will be good for baseball and good for kids," said Ivan 'Pudge' Rodriguez.

"Honestly, it's amazing growing up watching him work so hard for everything he has now and it has finally come true it is pretty great," said Ivan's daughter, Amanda Rodriguez.

Ryan Zimmerman was there with his family to support his former teammate.

"My wife actually grew up right down the street," Ryan Zimmerman said. "She used to come to this park and area all of the time".

"It is really exciting from the beginning 'Pudge' was a huge name on the team, so for him to have a field now, where I grew up it is like everything came full circle which is really cool and very impressive," said Ryan Zimmerman's wife, Heather Zimmerman.

One of the most memorable 'Pudge' moments with the Nationals was when he caught Stephen Strasburg’s first MLB start.

"I remember that he was tremendous," said 'Pudge'. "Just to be able to catch his first game and strike out 14 batters, 10 straight strike outs. I knew since day one he would be one of the best pitchers in the game and we see it right now."

"I imagine it was a lot of work to keep a nervous Stephen Strasburg settled and the fact he brought a level of experience to the team meant a lot to the Nationals," said Dean Wolf of Fairfax, Va.

Watch the story above with ABC7 sports reporter Erin Hawksworth.

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