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Alex Rodriguez one hit away from 3,000 in a season of Milestones

Rodriguez has impressed so far in 2015.

Alex Rodriguez (Reinhold Matay - USA TODAY Sports)

Alex Rodriguez (Reinhold Matay – USA TODAY Sports)

 

The New York Yankees earned a split in a four game series with the Miami Marlins on Thursday night, but there was a bigger headline.

Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez had two hits in the game, 2,998 and 2,999, putting him one hit away from the historic No. 3,000. Rodriguez, who was 2-for-4 with a walk on the night, had two chances at 3,000, but he lined out to right, and walked in his final two at bats.

When Rodriguez, who missed all of 2014 due to a suspension because of performance-enhancing drugs, stepped up to the plate in the sixth inning, one hit from 3,000, Yankees fans did something that a year ago not even Rodriguez could’ve predicted. Yankees fans were on their feet chanting “A-Rod!” The same fans that a year ago wouldn’t have even looked in Rodriguez’s direction, are now cheering for him. Something no one ever thought they’d see again.

The 39 year-old veteran has had a year filled with milestones including home run No. 661 passing Willie Mays for fourth all-time on Major League Baseball’s home run list. He tied Mays with 660 homers on May 1. No. 661 came against the Baltimore Orioles on May 7 at Yankee Stadium.

This past weekend Rodriguez picked up his 2,000 and 2,001 runs batted in on a two-run home run in Baltimore. A-Rod joined Hank Aaron (2,297) as just the second player to accomplish the feat. However, technically Rodriguez is fourth on the all-time list trailing Aaron, Babe Ruth (2,213), and Cap Anson (2,075) but because runs batted in weren’t an official stat when Ruth and Anson started their careers Rodriguez is listed as second all-time. The stat became official in 1920. Last week, the Yankee slugger logged his 10,000th career at bat, is 45 runs away from 2,000 and now Rodriguez is looking to become the 29th player to ever reach 3,000 hits. The last player to reach the feat was ironically Rodriguez’s former teammate and Captain Derek Jeter.

Rodriguez who already has 666 home runs to his name, will soon join Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Eddie Murray and Rafael Palmeiro as the only dual members of the 3,000-hit and 500-home run clubs. Only Aaron and Mays are in the 3,000/600 clan.

Rodriguez, who has had two major hip surgeries, has had a very impressive 2015 so far. In the midst of all the milestones, A-Rod is hitting .278 with 12 homers and 34 runs batted in.

A-Rod will look to get number 3,000 on Friday night at Yankee Stadium against Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers. Rodriguez is 10-for-28 against Verlander with five homers.

After everything that the Yankees and their 39 year-old designated hitter have been through, it is safe to say that Alex Rodriguez is a key log in the Yankees lineup. Like it or not Yankees fans, players and coaches are all pulling for Alex Rodriguez.

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