Former EPCC baseball pitcher, Fernie Rodriguez, Jr., has the distinction of being the only Tejanos’ player ever to make it to the major leagues.
He has played for the Los Angeles Angels, the Houston Astros and the Oakland A’s.
For that achievement, Rodriguez will be the first player in EPCC history to have his number retired.
His #17 jersey will be retired in a ceremony at 11:30 a.m. this Friday, May 3 at the Tejanos’ baseball field on the Valle Verde campus, 919 Hunter.
“It hasn’t really sunken in yet,” said Rodriguez, who is currently pitching for the El Paso Chihuahuas of the San Diego Padres organization.
But now that it’s getting closer, it’s becoming more of a reality. It’s quite an honor.” Back then, Rodriguez’s future plans had nothing to do with baseball.“I remember playing baseball just to try to get into college to become an architect,” Rodriguez recalled. “I had no idea that I’d be playing professional baseball for the next 16 years.”
After pitching for the 2003 Western Junior College Athletic Conference champion Tejanos, he was selected in the 18th round of the 2003 draft by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Ten years ago this week, on May 2, 2009, Rodriguez made his major league debut with the Angels in New York at Yankee Stadium.
“I was terrified,” Rodriguez said with a laugh. “This was a brand new experience for me and I wasn’t really ready. The second time I got called up, this time in 2011 with the Houston Astros, that’s when I knew I belonged.”
PHOTO COURTESY EPCC MARKETING
Former EPCC Tejanos baseball pitcher, Fernie Rodriguez Jr., is the first to make the major leagues.
The 2019 season marks the 24th year of EPCC baseball. Approximately 466 different players have worn a Tejanos jersey and 22 have been drafted by MLB teams.
But only Rodriguez has managed to make it all the way to the big leagues.A banner of his #17 jersey will permanently hang on the outfield wall. “I hope this event Friday can give some inspiration to the guys playing for EPCC now,” Rodriguez said. “Hopefully it will give them a message of, ‘you never know – something special can happen to you too.’”