On this day in history eight years ago, Alex Rodriguez joined an exclusive club. He became just the second right-handed hitter EVER in the long line of Yankee sluggers to hit 40 home runs in a season, joining Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio who hit 46 round-trippers in 1937 which was the only time he accomplished that feat. A-Rod hit at least 40 in one other season, 2007, when he smashed 54 long balls.
A-Rod’s 40th home run came in the fifth inning off Mariner starter Jeff Harris. Down by six at the time, A-Rod’s solo shot pulled the Yankees to within five. That’s the closest they would get, as the Mariners went on to win 8-3. Rodriguez would go on to win the American League’s Most Valuable Player award in ’05, finishing with a slash line of .321/.421/.610 with 48 homers and 130 RBI. The Yankees were eliminated by the Angels in five games in the ALDS.
To this day, Rodriguez and DiMaggio remain the only right-handers in Yankee history to hit 40 homers in a single season.