Alex Rodriguez hit his 661st home run Thursday night, and the ball was apparently caught by a Yankee Stadium security guard. Rodriguez swapped the ball for a signed bat.
The Alex Rodriguez redemption tour continues. Kind of.
Thursday night, he lined a changeup from Baltimore Orioles righthander Chris Tillman to centerfield for his 661st home run, passing Willie Mays for fourth all-time. The moment had been highly anticipated not just for its place in history, of course—A-Rod's also due $6 million for hitting the milestone. Whether he receives it remains to be seen.
Marketing legitimacy aside, it's nevertheless a historic moment and it's always interesting to find out what happens to baseballs in historic moments. Thanks to YES Network's Meredith Marakovitz, we know a security guard named Sean Hughes grabbed the ball after it struck him in the leg. In return for the ball, A-Rod gave Hughes a signed bat.
Pretty cool stuff... though Newsday's Anthony Rieber reports A-Rod said a Yankees employee named Eddie got the ball for him. Did A-Rod forget the guard's name that quickly? Or was Eddie the middleman on the transaction?
That A-Rod, he just can't avoid controversy.
- Mike Fiammetta