In 1970, playing for California and Washington, Rodriguez had career highs of 19 HR and 83 RBI. He proved not to be that good a hitter, but he was a nimble third baseman with a powerful arm. He was a Tiger regular for almost a decade after Detroit obtained him in the 1970 deal that sent Denny McLain to the Senators. He led AL third basemen in fielding percentage in 1976 and 1978, winning a Gold Glove in 1976.
Rodriguez passed away on September 13, 2000, after being hit by a car. He had played and managed in the Mexican Leagues on and off through the mid-90s. “He was a very nice human being,” remembered Sparky Anderson. “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 [belonged to Travis Fryman and him.”