Alex Rodriguez is still hoping for the chance to enter Cooperstown.
The former superstar, who now works as a commentator for ESPN, was candid about the possibility of not being elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. A career of controversy, including a long suspension for his role in a performance-enhancing drug scandal, has tainted Rodriguez's otherwise all-time great run in the major leagues.
"There's rules, and you have to follow the rules," Rodriguez said of his Hall of Fame chances to Cigar Aficionado's Marvin R. Shanken. "And I made those mistakes, and at the end of the day, I have to live by those mistakes.
"I think what is done, Marvin, whether I get in or not - and let's be clear, I wanna get in, I hope I get in, I pray I get in. If I don't, I think I have a bigger opportunity yet again. And in the platform of my mistakes, the good, the bad, and the ugly, has allowed me to have a loud voice to the next generation to say, when in doubt, just look at my career. Look at the good, look at the bad, look at the ugly. And just make good decisions. Have the power of restriction that I didn't have.
"The other message is I think that, look, maybe I'm not a Hall of Fame player, but I got a chance to be a Hall of Fame dad, a Hall of Fame friend. And because of all these things, I'm actually a better person."
On the field, A-Rod is a legend. Over his 22-year career with the Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, and New York Yankees, he hit 696 home runs - good for fourth all time - along with 3,115 base hits while winning three MVP awards, among other accolades.
But for all of his talent, the 43-year-old Rodriguez was also a polarizing figure who generated controversy wherever he went - especially with regard to his use of PEDs.
In 2009, he admitted to using steroids from 2001 to '03 while with the Rangers; four years later, Major League Baseball suspended him for 211 games (later reduced to 162 games on appeal) for his involvement in the Biogenesis doping scandal. The season-long suspension ultimately stopped him from reaching the 700-home run mark and likely also prevented Rodriguez from ever challenging Barry Bonds' all-time record of 762.
Rodriguez's career ended when the Yankees released him in the middle of the 2016 season. He'll become eligible to appear on the Baseball Hall of Fame ballot in 2022.