Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

MLB Notes: Yankees Bid Farewell to Rodriguez

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

MLB Notes: Yankees Bid Farewell to Rodriguez

Article excerpt

Stormy night, cheers for A-Rod's farewell

His pregame tribute ended by a storm, Alex Rodriguez soaked in repeated cheers during his final game in pinstripes, getting one more hit for the New York Yankees and returning to third base one last time.

On a night filled with nostalgia as the Yankees and Rodriguez turn to uncertain futures, baseball's most notorious star of the last two decades drove a 96 mph fastball from Tampa Bay's Chris Archer into the right-center field gap in the first inning of New York's 6-3 win Friday. He finished one for four.

And with the sellout crowd of 46,459 chanting "We want A-Rod!" the 41-year-old designated hitter trotted to third base for the first time in 15 months at the start of the ninth inning as the organist played "Thanks for Memory." He was removed amid cheers after one out in the ninth.

Skies darkened just as his pregame ceremony began. With Rodriguez's family on the field, public address announcer Paul Olden said: "Alex, you spent 12 of your 22 seasons with the Yankees" as a loud thunder crack shook the ballpark, as if ordered by a film director.

Rain started to fall during a video message from Lou Piniella, Rodriguez's first big league manager, and the festivities ended awkwardly after 10 minutes when a downpour began. Ten minutes later, the clouds started to clear, somewhat symbolic of A-Rod's time in New York, and a rainbow came out shortly before the first pitch.

With the Bleacher Creatures chanting his name in the first inning during their roll call and the rest of the fans joining in, Rodriguez raised his cap toward them from the dugout. Fans gave him a 30-second ovation when he walked up to the plate in the bottom half.

Rodriguez had slept late, ate his egg whites, stretched and took one final trip to the ballpark as a New York player.

"The last time I drive up Broadway and through Harlem and through the neighborhoods that have brought so much comfort to me," he said.

Rodriguez has 696 home runs, fourth on the career list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714). But A-Rod hit just .200 with nine home runs this year. …

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