Growing up, Alex Rodriguez was far and away my favorite baseball player. I was just starting to understand the game around the time Rodriguez, Derek Jeter and Nomar Garciaparra were lighting up the league as young studs at shortstop. I got a biography of A-Rod at a book fair at school (side note: remember book fairs? Those were awesome), and was infatuated right away. This was right before his MVP season in Texas too, when he was coming off of a 57 home run year in 2002. It all came crashing down for me when Rodriguez was traded to the Yankees in the 2004 offseason. My dad and brothers had convinced me from a young age that the Yankees were the root of all evil in the world, and that they sold all of their souls to the devil for World Series victories and money to sign all of the best free agents. I was conflicted, but my disdain for the Yankees ultimately outweighed my idolatry of A-Rod. It turns out I got out at the right time; Rodriguez had his fair share of controversial moments in New York, including starting a brawl with the Red Sox in the summer 2004, yelling at fielders while on the basepaths to distract them, and slapping the ball out of Bronson Arroyo's glove in the legendary 2004 ALCS that saw the Red Sox overcome a 3-0 deficit in the series to advance to the World Series.
Oh, and your homer from Game 3 of the 2009 World Series shouldn't have counted: