Baseball History: Stolen Moments

alex rodriguez 1995It happened last week.

How did I miss it? I suppose not caring is at the top of the list.

New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez passed Willie Mays on the all-time home run list with his 661st against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, May 7.

I read it somewhere on the Internet. Didn’t watch the highlights. Still haven’t seen it. Just doesn’t matter to me that Rodriguez is now fourth all-time and next up is Babe Ruth at 714.

It reminded me of Barry Bonds hitting his 756th homer that put him ahead of Hank Aaron. I was watching something else and the network broke in to let us know what was happening.

I really didn’t care. I even had to look up the date because I didn’t know when Bonds hit the homer. It was Aug. 7, 2007. It’s not that I didn’t want to care. It’s baseball history.

I thought the most interesting part of that night was that Mike Bacsik gave up the historic homer. His father, also named Mike, surrendered Aaron’s 755th in 1976.

My feelings have to be because of all of the controversy surrounding Rodriguez and Bonds. No need to rehash that here. We all know the stories. It hasn’t turned me away from baseball at all, but it has turned me away from them.

Perhaps the thing that bothers me the most right now is the six million dollar deal. The Yankees are supposed to pay Rodriguez for reaching milestones. Who knows where the story will go from here. It’s the times in which we live.

Controversies like this are stealing baseball history from us. We should be celebrating moments like this and it is difficult if you are not a fan of the teams involved.

Even though Aaron had hit his 714th home run in Cincinnati against my Reds on Opening Day off Jack Billingham, I was just a baseball fan on April 8, 1974.

I was caught up in the history of the moment. Aaron passing Ruth was a big deal for me. Maybe it is just cynicism and the perspective of age now, but that is something I didn’t have when I was an 11-year old boy jumping around my aunt’s living room when Aaron hit a homer against the Los Angeles Dodgers on a Monday night.

I didn’t even have to look up that Aaron hit it off Al Downing and Tom House caught it in the bullpen. It’s just something that a baseball fan knows.

I feel robbed that my son, who watched Bonds hit his homer in my living room, doesn’t even know that Rodriguez passed Mays. Heck, it took me three days to even want to read about it.


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