Virginia coach was teammate of Pudge Rodriguez

Luke Sable, a coach with the Alexandria, Virginia, team in Taylor for the Junior League World Series, hopes to run into Detroit Tigers catcher Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez sometime this week.

Sable and Rodriguez were teammates on two teams: Port Charlotte in the Florida State League (Class A) and Tulsa in the Texas League (AA).

“We were teammates for three years,” said Sable, who played second base and shortstop.

Sable was drafted twice out of George Mason University by the Texas Rangers, in 1986 and 1987, and played seven years professionally.

“When we were in Tulsa, Pudge was just getting accustomed to our language,” Sable said. “He’s a great, great catcher – one of the greatest catchers of all time. When he first came up in the minor leagues, I knew he had the potential to be successful. He had a great arm. I knew if he kept up the work and development, he was going to be a star. He was just a nice person, too.”

Sable said he hasn’t seen Rodriguez since he got call called up to the Major Leagues.

“If there’s anyway to get hold of him, tell him I’d love to see him,” Sable said.

The Tigers – who help sponsor the World Series – were on the road until Thursday. The team’s front office staff arranged tours of Comerica Park for 126 players and parents on Wednesday.

After his playing days, Sable returned to Alexandria and got involved in coaching his son and other players. With his pro experience, the players tend to listen.

“I’m trying to give back to the kids – the same thing coaches gave to me,” he said.