07/12/08 8:20 PM ET
A-Rod passes Mantle with No. 537
Solo homer puts third baseman alone at No. 13 on all-time list
By Gregor Chisholm / Special to MLB.com
Rodriguez hit his 537th career home run to move past Yankees Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle for sole possession of 13th place on the all-time home run list.
Rodriguez's blast came in the top of the fourth inning off Blue Jays reliever Brian Tallet. The 32-year-old third baseman worked the count to 3-2 before lining a ball off the foul pole in left field for his 19th home run of the season.
Rodriguez tied Mantle with a second-inning home run on July 6 against Boston's Tim Wakefield. His long ball off Tallet represented his first extra-base hit since he pulled even with Mantle.
"That just shows you that's a man with a lot of power who has been doing it for a long time," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of the All-Star third baseman. "He's consistent in his approach, his work ethic and he's going to get a few more people on that [all-time] list, too."
Passing one of the Yankees' all-time greats brought an extra-special feeling for Rodriguez, who says he is fully aware of how much Mantle meant to the city of New York.
"When you think about Mantle, he's probably the most popular Yankee of all-time, with the exception of Babe Ruth, [Joe] Dimaggio and [Lou] Gehrig," said Rodriguez, who is hitting .306 with 53 RBIs this season. "And Mickey had something special. Everywhere you go, everyone who's older says, 'Mickey is my favorite.' Everyone keeps that thing going. For that reason, he was a Yankee -- he was Mickey."
The fact that one of Rodriguez's milestones occurred in Toronto should come as a surprise to no one. Rodriguez has 47 career home runs against the Blue Jays, his second-highest total against any opponent.
Rodriguez is 11 home runs behind Phillies Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt, who is 12th on the all-time list with 548 home runs.
Gregor Chisholm is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.