Laguna Niguel, Calif. (January 5, 2010) - The ball smashed by Alex Rodriguez for his 500th career home run is set to be auctioned off as part of SCP Auctions February 4th, 2010 internet auction.
The historic orb, struck by Arod on August 4th, 2007 at Yankee Stadium off of Kansas City Royals pitcher Kyle Davies, made Rodriguez the youngest player in major league history to hit 500 home runs and the 22nd player to reach one of baseball's most revered milestones.
ARod stepped to the plate on a sunny afternoon in the Bronx in the summer of '07 before a Yankee Stadium crowd eager to witness history. An anxiety filled eight day, 28 at-bat homerless drought since homer no. 499 was recorded weighed heavily upon him. The weight was lifted in a flash when ARod slugged the first pitch he saw from Davies into the left-field seats for a three-run homer. The soaring ball fell into a pack of frenzied Yankees fans where it was recovered by a New York area college student. Rodriguez raised his hands in the air amidst a deafening roar that filled Yankee Stadium. He accepted congratulations from first-base coach Tony Pena before clapping and grinning as he rounded the bases, while, in the stadium audio booth, the theme from "The Natural" was cued. When he reached the plate, he hugged Derek Jeter and Bobby Abreu, who both scored on the landmark home run, and blew a kiss toward the stands. His teammates were already on the field and he embraced several of them on his way back to the bench. The crowd roared again when moments later A-Rod stuck his head out of the dugout for a long-awaited curtain call.
For Rodriguez, the conclusion of his personal quest for 500 came with equal parts celebration and relief. "The energy of the fans just put it in perspective a little bit," Rodriguez said. "For me, I wanted to do it at home." Rodriguez said. The All-Star third baseman became the third player to hit 500 as a Yankee and the second to do it in Yankee Stadium. Babe Ruth did it at Cleveland on Aug. 11, 1929, and Mickey Mantle reached the mark at home against Baltimore on May 14, 1967. The baseball being offered by SCP Auctions represents one of the most historic home runs ever hit in "The House That Ruth Built", a stadium that was said to have been built as a shrine to the long ball. After ARod's historic feat, he said of his 500th home run baseball and the fan who caught it, "I really want it back. But if not, I congratulate him for catching it. Nice catch." The ball has been authenticated and affixed with a numbered hologram by MLB officials. His batting helmet from the at-bat was sent to the Hall of Fame.
The fan who caught a piece of history off the bat of ARod on August 4th, 2007 at Yankee Stadium has kept it since that day and recently chose SCP Auctions to sell the ball at auction on his behalf. SCP Auctions has a successful history of selling significant home run balls including Barry Bonds record-breaking 756th home run ball for $752,467, and Bonds' record-tying 755 home run ball for $186,750 in 2007. Given the prolific rate at which ARod has continued to hit home runs, his 500th clout will likely become a more significant milestone should he reach the ultimate destination of breaking Bonds' all-time record.
Bidding for the baseball, as well as more than 700 other lots of important sports memorabilia and cards will begin online at scpauctions.com on January 20th and conclude on February 4th, 2010. For more information, or to order a full-color catalogue, call 800-350-2273 or got to www.scpauctions.com.