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After the Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers agreed to a trade in principle that would have had Alex Rodriguez sent to Boston and Manny Ramirez sent to Texas prior to the start of the 2004 season, the much-publicized trade fell apart when the Major League Baseball Players Union wouldn’t sanction Rodriguez lowering his contract. Shortly after the trade broke down, Yankees’ third baseman and ALCS Game 7 hero Aaron Boone injured his knee that was going to keep him out of most of, if not all of the 2004 season.    

This opened the door for the New York Yankees to jump in and the big-spending club had no hesitation in acquiring the best player in the game – which they did. A-Rod even agreed to move from his Gold Glove winning shortstop position to third base out of respect for incumbent shortstop Derek Jeter. With Rodriguez in the Yankees’ fold, the Bombers embarked on the 2004 season.

It only took Rodriguez three games to open his home run account with the Yankees as the slugger belted his first career Yankee home run during the April 6th contest against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. A-Rod’s first Yankee home run in the top of the first inning, which was also his 346th career home run, was a two-run home run off of Tampa Bay’s starter Victor Zambrano to right field. Rodriguez would connect on 36 home runs during his debut season in pinstripes.

This is the very baseball Alex Rodriguez hit for his first-ever New York Yankees’ home run and the 346th of his career. This ball is an Official Major League Allan H. Selig baseball and it displays outstanding game use. There are several scuff marks, dirt marks and other abrasions present and a commemorative “OPENING DAY 2004” logo stamp is on the side panel. AROD has signed his name in blue pen on the side panel of the commemorative logo stamp and inscribed “1st HR”. The panel on the Rawlings stamp has been signed by Rays’ pitcher Victor Zambrano, who inscribed “47” and “G/U 4-6-04”. This baseball comes with two MLB Authenticated holograms (MR517628 & MR507035), along with a COA from Alex Rodriguez with matching AROD holograms on the COA and baseball having the ID number 8963.

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