BRONX, N.Y. — Not one but two milestone home runs on this date for Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez. How do I know? I was there!
In 2007, I was a few weeks away from returning to grad school and the New York Yankees series against the Kansas City Royals was one of the last bus trip games with available tickets from Albany to Yankee Stadium, so my dad bought them for a family trip. Well, lo and behold, a seemingly innocuous dog daze of August game against the Royals got interesting as A-Rod was stuck on 499 career round-trippers.
We were sitting up in row X between third base and left-field, atop the last row of the old Yankee Stadium (you could see them working construction on the new Stadium through a window grate. Our cameras were at the ready and it didn’t take long for A-Rod to deliver, smashing a three-run bomb to left in the first inning, off Kyle Davies. I still remember the pose and finish on the swing and him circling the bases and pointing to his daughters in the stands like it was yesterday.
A-Rod became the youngest player to reach the 500 home run plateau.
In an odd coincidence, three years to the day in 2010, A-Rod would become the youngest player to attain 600 career home runs, smashing a two-run tater into Monument Park during the first frame against Toronto Blue Jays starter Shaun Marcum.