Some of my earliest memories are of a trio that defined the game of baseball.
When I wasn’t shoving cotton candy into my face at Oriole Park at Camden Yards or mimicking the many batting stances of my childhood idol, Cal Ripken Jr., I was playing Backyard Baseball 2001 on my parents’ enormous computer. As big of a baseball fan as I was, I wanted to know as much information as possible about the “pro players as kids” in real life.
I had read the stories. I had seen the highlights. I knew everything there was to know about Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, and Nomar Garciaparra. They were the big three. They were the future of baseball. And they all played shortstop.
Garciaparra’s career ended as the least memorable of the three. He retired in 2009 a six-time All Star. Jeter, a future Hall of Famer, retired in 2014 with just about every accolade imaginable and all of baseball hanging from his jock. But this article is about Rodriguez.
Once Rodriguez takes off his uniform after Friday night’s game, there will be no active players left in baseball who made their MLB debut before I was born.