Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays and now Alex Rodriguez. During more than 130 years of organized professional baseball, only those five men have hit 650 home runs over their respective careers.
Rodriguez became the most recent to join that club when he homered in the fifth inning Monday night against the Blue Jays.
Rodriguez led off the frame and took a called strike on a knuckleball from R.A. Dickey to bring up an 0-1 count. Dickey went back to the knuckleball with his second pitch and Rodriguez was waiting, lifting a low-and-outside pitch into the bullpen beyond right field in the Rogers Centre.
Mays' spot as fourth all-time in home runs may be in danger. Rodriguez sits just 10 long-balls away from the 660 career homers Mays hit, and 11 from passing the long-time Giants' great.
Under normal circumstances, Rodriguez would have been almost assured of passing Mays. Yet Rodriguez's season has been anything but normal, and with a long suspension awaiting him, he may only have the 32 games remaining on New York's schedule to pass Mays before the 38-year-old is forced to hang them up.
Rodriguez's career began in Seattle where he hit 189 home runs for the Mariners over parts of seven seasons. He moved to the Texas Rangers as a free agent and hit another 158 dingers in three seasons with the team, collecting his first MVP award in his third year in Dallas. The Rangers traded him to the Yankees, with whom he won two more MVP awards and socked 304 more home runs.
Including Monday, Rodriguez has played in just 19 games this year after offseason hip surgery. He has hit three home runs over that span.