July 27, 1975 in New York, NY
New York Yankees
Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez
Major League Debut:
July 8, 1994
Teams Played For:
Seattle Mariners (7), Texas Rangers (3) NY Yankees (4)
Post Season Awards:
• Sporting News Player of the Year (1996, 2002)
• AL Silver Slugger Award (1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005)
• American League Gold Glove (2002, 2003)
• American League Most Valuable Player (2003, 2005)
• American League All-Star (1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007)
• Hank Aaron Award (2001, 2002, 2003)
• AL Batting Title (1996)
• AL Home Run Title (2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007)
Universally acknowledged as one of the greatest hitters in major league history (and still in his prime), Rodriguez has led the major leagues in home runs (HR), runs scored, runs batted in (RBI), total bases and extra-base hits every year since he came to “the show” in 1996.
His power, defensive skills, charisma and fan-friendly Hispanic heritage made him an attractive free agent after the 2000 season, and Texas signed Rodriguez to the unprecedented $252 million deal. He continued to play well for the Rangers (winning the American League MVP award in 2003), but the team finished last in its division for three straight years, and some felt that Rodriguez's mammoth contract had hobbled the team. In 2004 Rodriguez was traded to the New York Yankees, where he moved to third base to play alongside Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter.
At age 30, Rodriguez had more HR, more RBI, more runs scored, and more base hits than all-time leaders Hank Aaron (RBI), Barry Bonds (HR), Rickey Henderson (runs scored), and Pete Rose (hits) did prior to their 30th birthdays. He also shares the MLB record (and holds the AL record) for most home runs in the month of April, hitting 14 in 2007. He joined the 500 Home Run Club on August 4, 2007, becoming (at 32) the youngest player to reach that number in major league history.
Home Run Milestones
500th Home Run: http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=9441701
600th Home Run: http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=10629807