If Alex Rodriguez ever hits another home run, he will join the 600 club. (If you count the postseason, he already has 612 at the major league level, but no one outside of Tom Tango counts those 13 dingers.) Right now, there are three sluggers in this tier (I’m not including The Seven Hundred troika of Bonds, Aaron, and Ruth.) There’s Willie Mays, Sammy Sosa and Ken Griffey Jr..
Arod played with Junior early in his career when both were with Seattle. Then Tom Hicks lured him to Texas with his filthy, filthy lucre. Hicks had purchased the team from a group that included George W. Bush. Bush’s dad played first base for a Yale team that made it to the first College World Series. He was one of those rare cats who bat right, throw left, and vote center-right. Another Eli (or Bulldog) on that squad was Frank Quinn. Quinn pitched for a couple of years for the Red Sox and was a teammate of Ted Williams. Williams played until 1960 and was really the only reason to watch the Red Sox in his later days. Bobby Thomson was a Red Sock in Ted’s final year. But he is more famous for being a Giant in Willie Mays’s rookie year.
Mays went to Fairfield High School in suburban Birmingham, Alabama. One of his teachers was Angeline Rice. Her daughter was Condi Rice, who went on to become W’s NSA and Secretary of State. Now, when W owned the Rangers, they got rid of a young Sammy Sosa. There are only three degrees of baseball separation between Sosa and Mays and a few ways to do it. Sosa was a Cub with the peripatetic Mike Morgan who was once a Blue Jay with Randy Moffitt who was a Giant for the early 70s Red Juice Giants. Moffitt, incidentally was the second best athlete in his family. His sister was Billie Jean King. You can also go Mays to Marichal to Carlton Fisk (1974 Red Sox) to Sosa (1990 White Sox.) But my favorite path might be through two knuckleballers. Hoyt Wilhelm was a New York Giant teammate of Mays and an L.A. Dodger teammate of Charlie Hough’s. Hough and Sosa later played together.
Griffey, incidentally, played with his dad. His dad was part of the Big Red Machine along with Foster. Foster started out as a Giant, but Bobby Bonds made him expendable.