Alex Rodriguez has played so much baseball that many probably feel as if they know him statistically. His presence among the all-time leaders in home runs, RBIs and runs scored is well-documented.
But what about the stats you might not know? That’s where we come in. Utilizing resources including Baseball-Reference.com and the Elias Sports Bureau, we’ve put together a list of our favorite “Did you knows?” for ARod.
In the beginning
Three Hall of Famers played in Rodriguez’s major league debut for the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park against the Boston Red Sox: Andre Dawson, Ken Griffey Jr. and Rich Gossage. Rodriguez shares this in common with Babe Ruth. Elias research shows that Rodriguez, like Ruth, made his debut as a teenager in Boston.
Three-team, two-position star
Rodriguez is the only player in major league history to hit 150 home runs with three teams, and he ranks in the top 12 in all-time wins above replacement for each of those teams (Seattle Mariners, sixth; New York Yankees, 11th; Texas Rangers, 12th). Elias notes that he’s one of two players to hit at least 200 home runs at two positions, along with Hall of Famer Ernie Banks.
Many think that Rodriguez ranks third in RBIs, but he actually ranks second with 2,084. He's ahead of Babe Ruth, because Ruth's pre-1920 RBIs are not considered official. Besides home runs (696, fourth) and RBIs, Rodriguez ranks in the top five in one other notable stat: strikeouts (2,286, fifth).
Homer leader of the decade
Rodriguez led the decade from 2000 to 2009 in home runs with 435. Jim Thome was second with 368. The only player to have more home runs in a decade is Ruth with 467 in the 1920s.
All over the place
Rodriguez has at least 30 home runs in nine ballparks, which Elias notes is tied with Ruth for the most all time. Willie Mays ranks third with 30 home runs in eight parks.
Most valuable homer
The “most valuable” regular-season home run of Rodriguez’s career came on June 28, 2006, against the Braves. With the Yankees trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the 12th inning, Rodriguez hit a walk-off, two-run home run off Jorge Sosa. The home run had a win probability added of .775.
He was clutch a couple of times in postseason
Rodriguez hit game-tying home runs in the ninth inning of the 2009 American League Division Series against the Twins and the AL Championship Series against the Angels. He's one of three Yankees to hit multiple game-tying or go-ahead home runs in the ninth inning or later in the postseason, along with Bernie Williams and Raul Ibanez.
They owned him
Rodriguez was 0-for-10 in his career against reliever Jason Isringhausen. That’s the most plate appearances he had without reaching base against any pitcher. He had 39 career plate appearances against Felix Hernandez without accruing an extra-base hit, the most ABs he had without one against any pitcher.
Among pitchers against whom Rodriguez had at least 20 at-bats, his lowest OPS came against Rick Porcello (.267). Rodriguez is 3-for-22 with no extra-base hits and six strikeouts against him.
Drew Smyly struck out Rodriguez nine times in the 12 times they faced each other, giving him the highest strikeout percentage of anyone against Rodriguez (minimum 10 plate appearances).
Rodriguez faced Tim Wakefield 109 times, the most of any pitcher he has faced. Wakefield never intentionally walked him.
Managing just fine
Elias research shows that Rodriguez’s most home runs against one manager are the 58 he has against Mike Scioscia and the Angels.
Rodriguez’s career numbers against the Royals are the equivalent of an MVP-caliber season. In 156 games, he has 50 home runs and 131 RBIs and hit .329 with a 1.076 OPS.
Rodriguez had an OPS of at least .800 against the 13 teams he played at least 100 games against. The lowest? An .801 against the White Sox.
Met their match
Rodriguez hit .609 (14-for-23) against the Mets in Subway Series play in 2005. That’s the highest single-season batting average for any player against the Mets (minimum 20 at-bats).
Dan McCarthy, Mark Simon, Ken Woolums, Sarah Langs and John Parolin compiled information for this article