On May 7, 2015, New York Yankees superstar slugger Alex Rodriguez passed Hall of Famer Willie Mays on Major League Baseball’s all-time career home run list with his 661st round-tripper. Now playing in his 21st season in the major leagues with more than 3,000 hits to his credit, he has certainly made a name for himself. Next month, collectors can get their hands on one of Rodriguez’s very first pieces of game-used baseball memorabilia. The signed and inscribed bat from which he delivered his very first MLB hit back on July 9, 1994, as a member of the Seattle Mariners goes on the auction block at SCP Auctions starting on Wed., August 5. The online auction concludes August 22.
Rodriguez played in just 17 games for the Mariners in 1994 as the campaign was cut short by MLB’s season-ending lockout that started on August 12. He made his major league debut as the team’s starting shortstop on July 8, 1994, at Boston’s Fenway Park at just 18 years of age. He was only the third 18-year-old MLB shortstop since 1900 and the youngest position player in Seattle Mariners’ history. His first MLB hit was a single off Boston’s Sergio Valdez on July 9 at Fenway Park. During his brief stint in ‘94, Rodriguez compiled a .204 batting average with 11 hits, two runs batted in and three stolen bases.
The 34.5” black Louisville Slugger Alex Rodriguez professional model (# C271) bat shows plenty of contact marks throughout the barrel accompanied by several cleat and bat rack marks. A three-inch crack on the handle is also quite evident. Rodriguez signed and inscribed the barrel of the bat in silver as follows: “1st M.L. Base Hit.” An accompanying Letter of Authenticity signed by Rodriguez from Seattle-based Mill Creek Sports notes this bat as the one A-Rod used to garner his first major league hit but misdates the event as “7/8/94.” There is a strong likelihood that he used this same bat for his debut on July 8th and again on the 9th at Fenway Park to collect his first hit. Regardless, this is the bat that started it all for the player that will forever be included in any discussion of baseball’s all-time greatest players. -Terry Melia