A-Rod is moving on up.
New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez hit the 630th home run of his career earlier today, tying Ken Griffey Jr. for fifth on MLB’s HR list, as his team beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-0 on Opening Day at Yankee Stadium.
The home run, which came in the third inning off Angels’ ace, Ervin Santanta, was Rodríguez’s first of the year.
“I think it’s interesting — I think it’s something to follow,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi told MLB.com after A-Rod’s record-tying bomb. “It’s amazing what he’s done in his career. You look at the home runs, the RBIs, the runs that he’s scored. You look at those stats that they put on the board, and they’re amazing. It puts an interesting sidebar on our season, and it’s something people will follow. I will definitely pay attention. I knew that he tied Ken Griffey Jr. today.”
ESPN writes that Rodriguez, 36, needs just 30 more homers to tie Willie Mays for fourth place on the all-time list (660). Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714) are the top three all-time home run hitters.
“It definitely means I’m getting old; that’s for sure,” Rodriguez, who batted third for the first time this season, said after going 3 for 4 with a stolen base and two runs scored.
Fox Sports points out that in 2007, A-Rod became the youngest player in MLB history to reach 500 home runs and holds the record for most home runs by a player with a Latino background.
Rodríguez, who is currently in the fifth year of a 10-year, $275 million contract he signed in 2007, was also part of the Yankees club that won the 2009 World Series over the Philadelphia Phillies. The Yankees (4-3) have won 14 of their last 15 home openers and are a half game behind the division-leading Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays.