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.
A-Rod, copyright Elsa/Getty Images and courtesy si.com
The Say Hey Kid, courtesy thecrazymetsfan.com
Richie Ashburn - 1962
Duke Snider - 1963
Warren Spahn - 1965
Willie Mays - 1972-1973
Eddie Murray - 1992-1993
Rickey Henderson - 1999-2000
I’m not saying that you can lock up the Hall of Fame by playing for the Mets near the end of your career, but…
(Ashburn photo courtesy of centerfieldmaz.com; Snider photo courtesy of othemts.tumblr.com; Spahn photo courtesy of ootpdevelopments.com; Mays photo courtesy of achievement.org; Murray photo courtesy of bestsportsphotos.com; Henderson photo courtesy of wikimedia.org)