I may talk a lot of trash about Alex Rodriguez but I know a good ball player when I see one. Today, despite new allegations from Mr. Steroid himself, Jose Canseco, there is still little proof to show that Alex ever cheated to get where he is in baseball. Last night Alex became the sole owner of #15 on the all-time home run list, passing Willie McCovey. Let’s look back at the pre-Steroid era for a moment and think back to the condition of other 500-home run guys and the poor place in their careers when they hit their 500th. Unless their names were Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, and sadly enough, Barry Bonds; they were pretty much at the end of the road, if not extremely close to it. Heck, Eddie Murray played 67 seasons just to hit #500.
Anyways, my point is that ARod is in his prime. There is no question about that and unless someone presents some real evidence that he is a cheater, 600, 700, and maybe even 800 home runs is not far out of reach. After all, Alex Rodriguez is a young 32 year old man. Remember, Barry Bonds hit 73 home runs at the age of 36 (!) and it is proven that some guys can play into their very late 30’s and still be productive these days. What’s even scarier is that if Alex can match his 54 home runs of last season in 2008, he will be in the top 10 of all-time in career home runs. If he hits another 45 in 2009 he will be in the mythical top 5. After that, it’s safe to assume he could still continue to hit 40-50 home runs per year. I think it’s clear to many of us collectors and fans of baseball that Alex Rodriguez will retire with the record much like Barry Bonds did. The only question is how he will be percieved in the end. Will he go out the way Hank Aaron did with or will he walk away in shame like Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro?
So as collecting goes, do you have yourself a copy of Arod’s best rookie card? If you don’t, what the heck are you waiting for? There are some on eBay for a Buy It Now of $125 but you could probably get one for just over $100 at a show if you are lucky. Why spend 10 times as much on a SuperFractor of a 17-year old who might end up playing a decade in the Minors when you could pick up a card that might someday be as popular as the ’52 Topps Mickey Mantle.