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Yankees celebrate A-Rod's entry in 500 club

NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez could only laugh as a sculpture
honoring him for becoming the youngest member of the 500-homer club
tumbled off an easel at Yankee Stadium.

Oh well, it's the thought that counts.

The New York Yankees paid tribute to A-Rod before their game
against the Baltimore Orioles on Monday night, presenting him with
the home plate from his 500th homer on Aug. 4 and a silver tray
with an inscription from owner George Steinbrenner.

The Yankees also gave Rodriguez two portraits and a sculpture by
artist Peter Max, who had some trouble with the covering on the
bat-and-ball sculpture and accidentally pulled it down to the
ground.

Max stood with his arms out briefly as the crowd gasped.
Rodriguez, general manager Brian Cashman and manager Joe Torre just
laughed. The sculpture was quickly returned to the easel and
appeared to be OK.

Rodriguez hit his 500th homer in the first inning of a 16-8
victory over the Kansas City Royals, becoming the 22nd player to
reach the mark. With the drive eight days after his 32nd birthday,
he bettered Jimmie Foxx (32 years, 338 days) as the youngest player
to reach 500.

A-Rod was hitting .300 with 39 homers and 114 RBIs heading into
play Monday. He needs just one homer to tie Eddie Murray for 21st
on the career list with 504.