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9 GIFs that remind us all how amazing it was watching Alex Rodriguez play

Alex Rodriguez  announced this week that he would retire, and that day has finally come. He and the Yankees will face the Rays tonight at 7:05 pm, ET, for what will be his last game in pinstripes. A-Rod will be remembered for a lot, including the craziest thing he's ever done -- cut an apple for his daughter, Ella. 

But until we get a GIF of that moment (we're assuming it's just real life Fruit Ninja), we'll have to make do with these other memorable moments from A-Rod's career.

His heroics

A-Rod recorded his first MLB hit at age 18, and his first MLB homer the next year. Here he is at 20, his first season as an All-Star and the season he won his only batting title (with a .358 average), on Opening Day in 1996. His single to right field ended a 12-inning matchup against the White Sox in a very welcome Mariners victory.

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Let's jump ahead to 2009. Remember when the Yankees won the 2009 World Series? Of course you do. But you know they don't get there without A-Rod's game-tying homer in Game 2 of the ALCS -- part of an epic postseason campaign that saw him hit .365/.500/.808.

2009

His defense

Lest we forget, before he was a DH, A-Rod was a prized defensive player. In 1993, Brewers scout Russ Bove called him a "prototype S.S." Mariners scout Roger Jongewaard described him as "similar to Jeter only bigger and better." But that's not all Jongewaard wrote. "Generates a special feeling watching him play," he noted under "Additional Comments." Just watch him and see if you agree.

Here he is robbing former teammate Edgar Martinez of a base hit:

Or maybe you prefer him turning a triple play with the Rangers in 2002: 

Russell Branyan also fell victim to his golden glove:

And here he is, stealing his first base:

Just to remind you, even at 40 years old, he still had wheels:

steal2016

His winning smile

Look at it:

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Just a whole bunch of dingers

Who's hit the most grand slams in Major League history? Answer:

Rodriguez leads all of MLB with 25 career grand slams. And with 696 home runs, A-Rod is fourth on the all-time list, behind only Barry Bonds, Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth. Let's watch a few more of them:

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grandslam

He even brought big league swag to the Minors, during a rehab game with the Trenton Thunder in 2016.

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His unheralded dance moves

We've suggested many a player try their hand (or feet) at "Dancing With the Stars" but somehow we've left A-Rod off that list. It was a grave oversight and we're sorry:

dance