Alex Rodriguez Hits Home Run No. 600

Alex Rodriguez hits 600th home runNEW YORK — Alex Rodriguez became the youngest player to hit 600 home runs Wednesday, reaching the milestone after a 12-game drought — and exactly three years to the day after his 500th homer — with a drive off Toronto’s Shaun Marcum in the first inning at Yankee Stadium.

A-Rod raised a hand slightly in triumph as he rounded first base, then completed his trot to the roar of the crowd. He joined an elite club that includes Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714), Willie Mays (660), Ken Griffey Jr. (630) and Sammy Sosa (609).

Despite saying he’s been more relaxed than he was when trying for his 500th homer, Rodriguez went just 9 for 46 after homering on July 22, the longest stretch between Nos. 599 and 600 for any of the seven to reach the mark. Mays was next at 21 at-bats, according to STATS LLC. A-Rod went 28 without a home run before 500.
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The Yankees’ slugger turned 35 last Tuesday, putting his home run pace far ahead of the rest. Ruth had been the youngest to hit 600, reaching the mark in 1931 at 36 years, 196 days. The Sultan of Swat did it in fewer games, though — 2,044 to 2,227 for Rodriguez.

Even though he went homerless in his first 41 at-bats this year and has connected at a much slower rate compared to the rest of his career, the 13-time All-Star has been saying that No. 600 is merely a springboard to better things — mainly helping his team win, but also reaching Bonds’ record of 762 home runs.

Being the home run king comes with a tarnished crown, though.

After Bonds eclipsed Aaron’s record with his 756th in 2007 amid accusations of steroid use — something Bonds vehemently denies — talk immediately turned to A-Rod, who days earlier had become the fastest to No. 500. He was supposed to be the player who would restore credibility to American sports’ most cherished record, but that all changed two years later.

In response to a SportsIllustrated.com report and mounting speculation, A-Rod admitted to using steroids as he hit 156 homers with Texas. He has 255 with the Yankees and 189 with the Seattle Mariners, who picked him No. 1 in 1993 amateur draft.

Alex Rodriguez 600 Homeruns

Alex Rodriguez Hits Home Run No. 600 was last modified: September 14th, 2010 by Brian Halstrom

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