With Alex Rodriguez’s benching by manager Joe Girardi for today’s fifth game of the ALDS against the Orioles, he finds himself connected to Hall of Famer Willie Mays - but not in a way A-Rod would want.

The only other time that a player with more than 600 home runs did not start a playoff game was Game 2 of the 1973 World Series when Mays, in his last season as a ballplayer, was not in the lineup for the Mets against the Oakland A’s. (He would pinch run for Rusty Staub in the 9th. The game would go 12 and Mays would end up 1-2 with an RBI and run scored.)

Random note: Mays final major league at-bat was in Game 4 of the World Series when he pinch hit for reliever Tug McGraw (then of Mets, best known as a Phillie) in the 10th inning. Mays grounded into a fielder’s choice.

Images:

A-Rod, copyright Elsa/Getty Images and courtesy si.com

The Say Hey Kid, courtesy thecrazymetsfan.com