FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 16, 2007
MAYOR BLOOMBERG PRESENTS KEY TO THE CITY TO ALEX RODRIGUEZ IN HONOR OF HIS 500TH HOME-RUN
A-Rod Joins the Ranks of Ruth and Mantle as Yankee Legends
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today presented the Key to the City to New York Yankee third-baseman Alex Rodriguez in honor of his 500th home-run, which A-Rod hit on August 4, 2007. First given in 1702, the Key to the City of New York is presented to distinguished persons for outstanding civic contributions. Last week the Mayor presented a key to New York Met pitcher Tom Glavine in honor of his 300th career win. The Mayor presented the key to Alex Rodriguez on the field at Yankee Stadium, with Rodriguez's teammates and Yankee manager Joe Torre looking on.
"With his 500th homerun, Alex Rodriguez has joined the pantheon of legendary Yankee sluggers like Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle," said Mayor Bloomberg. "New York has become home to millions of people from around the world. By presenting this key to A Rod on behalf of all New Yorkers, representing every nation on earth, we want A-Rod to know that he will always have a special place here in the greatest city in the world. We hope that Alex will make New York his home for many years to come."
"This is a great honor," said Alex Rodriguez. "I appreciate the key to New York from the Mayor and it will be something I hold dear to me for the rest of my life."
On June 20, 2003, Mayor Bloomberg gave a Key to the City to New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens in honor of his 300th win. Past recipients of the Key to the City include winners of the New York City marathon, Olympic Gold medal winners Sarah Hughes and Jimmy Shea, Mets pitcher John Franco, Yankees pitchers David Cone and David Wells, the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Pope John Paul II, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mother Theresa and the 1980 US Olympic Hockey team.
The practice of presenting a key to an individual may be traced back to medieval times, when admission into a city was hampered by many legal restrictions, as well as by walls and locked gates. The key symbolized free entry. Today, the presentation honors outstanding civic contributions of the recipients.
Stu Loeser/John Gallagher (212) 788-2958