Move over Lou Gehrig, A-Rod is coming through.
With his 24th career grand slam, the New York Yankees' PED pariah broke the MLB record for career bases-loaded homers previously held by one the sport's most revered icons. The 38-year-old third baseman pushed his record-setting home run beyond the right-field wall at Yankee Stadium against the San Francisco Giants on Friday night. The opposite-field blast off reliever George Kontos broke a 1-1 deadlock in the seventh inning and established the final score in the Yankees' 5-1 win.
"I'm a huge fan of Lou Gehrig, everything he's done, going back to his college days in New York," Rodriguez told reporters after the game. "He's kind of the gold standard for a Yankee. Special moment. I'll think about it someday."
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 21, 2013
The three-time American League MVP was hit with a 211-game suspension by Major League Baseball in August for violations of the league's drug policy and labor agreement but has remained eligible to play while he waits for an independent arbitrator to hear his appeal. Having returned to the Yankees' lineup following offseason hip surgery just hours after MLB announced the suspension, Rodriguez has helped the Yankees stay in the hunt for an AL Wild Card spot down the stretch. He has also continued his ascent up various all-time stat rankings.
Rodriguez's 24th career grand slam was also his 654th career home run, leaving him just six shy of tying Willie Mays for fourth on the all-time homer list. Last month, A-Rod moved ahead of Stan Musial on the all-time RBI rankings into fifth place. Up next in that category is Gehrig.
Given the reverence accorded Gehrig, Musial and Mays and the general disillusionment with A-Rod following his connection to MLB's latest doping scandal, there wasn't exactly an outpouring of enthusiasm following his record-setting clout.