Alex Rodriguez is close to becoming the youngest player at 35-years-old to hit 600 home runs, taking the title from Babe Ruth who hit his 600th at the age of 36.
A-Rod, who hit his 599th home run off the Kansas City Royals reliever Robinson Tejeda in the seventh inning at Yankee Stadium Thursday night, will turn 35 next Tuesday.
Once Rodriguez hits his 600th homer, he will join legends Sammy Sosa, Ken Griffey Jr., Willie Mays, Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds in the “600 club”, making him the seventh member.
A-Rod wanted to reiterate that his goals are team-driven, saying, “Nothing is as exciting as what happened last November,” referring to winning the World Series. “Now I have a different perspective on things. Early in my career, I loved winning, but it was about accumulating numbers and hoping to get to the postseason. Now, it’s about one goal, and along the way you hope to get big home runs. I’m in a different place right now, a much better place.”
“My concern is he’ll be answering questions about it every day and he’ll start to press a little bit,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said after the game. “Only time will tell.”
When A-Rod had 499 runs in 2007 it took him nine games and 28 at-bats to reach 500, which he did on August 4, 2007.
Rodriguez was also the youngest player to join the “500 club”, hitting his 500th homer at the age of 32.