Yankees present A-Rod with ring, vase during 3,000th hit ceremony
The New York Yankees on Sunday finally paid tribute to Alex Rodriguez for reaching the 3,000-hit milestone earlier this season with a 10-minute ceremony before the Bronx Bombers hosted the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium.
It was a rather low-key affair, per reports, that lacked the pomp and circumstance of previous milestone celebrations that have occurred at the Yankees’ home ballpark.
The ceremony, announced in August, opened with a video montage documenting A-Rod’s biggest career hits being played on the Jumbotron, including his 3,000th, which occurred on June 19 on a home run against the Detroit Tigers. Rodriguez, who went 2-for-4 in the Yankees’ 5-0 win, then emerged from the dugout and walked out onto the field, joined by his two daughters, his mother and sister.
A-Rod did not address the fans during the ceremony but thanked the organization for the gesture after the game.
“I’m incredibly grateful to the Steinbrenners. First class all the way,” Rodriguez said, via the New York Daily News. “It’s rare for me that I get to celebrate a day with my mother and my two daughters, manager, teammates, and obviously the fans of New York.”
Notably absent from the ceremony were general manager Brian Cashman and skipper Joe Girardi, nor was there an appearance by team president Randy Levine. None of A-Rod’s teammates were on the field during the brief ceremony either, although they were greeted in the clubhouse by commemorative wine bottles in their lockers.
The slugger was later presented with a commemorative, handcrafted vase by Yankees COO Lonn Trost. Rodriguez also received a 14-karat 3,000-hit diamond ring from managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner, with his daughters receiving matching ring-top pendants.
In the end, the Yankees reluctantly relented and celebrated A-Rod’s remarkable career achievement, but it was clear that it wasn’t treated in a fashion arguably befitting such a milestone, although the slugger’s tainted history probably played a big part in the planning of the ho-hum ceremony.