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Chris Mcgrath, Getty Images
Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is currently 15th on the all-time home run list and climbing fast. It's not inconceivable that he could reach the top 10 by the end of 2008.

Ken Griffey Jr. is closing in on rare milestone territory, but Alex Rodriguez also took a symbolic step up baseball's all-time home run list.

The New York Yankees' Rodriguez gained sole possession of 15th place and broke a tie with Hall of Famers Ted Williams and Willie McCovey by hitting No. 522. It came against Williams' Boston Red Sox in a 15-9 win at Yankee Stadium Wednesday.

"It definitely humbles you," Rodriguez said after tying Williams and McCovey on Monday. "I'm at a point in my career where you do some things and you start touching some of these names, and it is hard to believe."

Rodriguez has four home runs this season. If he matches the 54 he hit last season, he would jump to 10th on the list at 572 — passing Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle, Mike Schmidt, Reggie Jackson and Rafael Palmeiro — and be within one of Harmon Killebrew.

Rodriguez, 32, became the youngest player to reach 500 in August, topping Foxx's record by 330 days.

Griffey, 38, is sixth on the list after hitting No. 595 in the Cincinnati Reds' loss Tuesday at the Chicago Cubs. Next stop after reaching 600 is Sammy Sosa at 609.

Other milestones on the horizon:

— Boston's Manny Ramirez, 35, has three homers this year and 493 overall, tying Lou Gehrig and Fred McGriff. He would be the 24th to hit 500. The other active members of the 500 club are the Toronto Blue Jays' Frank Thomas, 39, 18th all time at 516, and the Chicago White Sox's Jim Thome, 37, who hit No. 510 Wednesday. The Detroit Tigers' Gary Sheffield, 39, is 19 shy of 500.

— Greg Maddux's next victory will make him the ninth pitcher to win 350 games. The San Diego Padres right-hander is 2-0 this season and five victories behind Roger Clemens, the next pitcher ahead of him on the all-time list. Maddux's next scheduled start is Saturday at the Arizona Diamondbacks.


Career home run leaders

Through April 16

(x-active)

Player . . . . . . . . . No.

1. Barry Bonds . . . . . 762

2. Hank Aaron . . . . . 755

3. Babe Ruth . . . . . 714

4. Willie Mays . . . . . 660

5. Sammy Sosa . . . . . 609

6. x-Ken Griffey Jr. . . . . . 595

7. Frank Robinson . . . . . 586

8. Mark McGwire . . . . . 583

9. Harmon Killebrew . . . . . 573

10. Rafael Palmeiro . . . . . 569

11. Reggie Jackson . . . . . 563

12. Mike Schmidt . . . . . 548

13. Mickey Mantle . . . . . 536

14. Jimmie Foxx . . . . . 534

15. x-Alex Rodriguez . . . . . 522

16. Willie McCovey . . . . . 521

16. Ted Williams . . . . . 521

18. x-Frank Thomas . . . . . 516

19. Ernie Banks . . . . . 512

19. Eddie Mathews . . . . . 512

21. Mel Ott . . . . . 511

22. x-Jim Thome . . . . . 510

23. Eddie Murray . . . . . 504

24. x-Manny Ramirez . . . . . 493

24. Lou Gehrig . . . . . 493

24. Fred McGriff . . . . . 493

27. x-Gary Sheffield . . . . . 481

28. Stan Musial . . . . . 475

28. Willie Stargell . . . . . 475

30. Dave Winfield . . . . . 465

31. Jose Canseco . . . . . 462

32. Carl Yastrzemski . . . . . 452

33. Jeff Bagwell . . . . . 449

34. Dave Kingman . . . . . 442

35. Andre Dawson . . . . . 438

36. Juan Gonzalez . . . . . 434

37. x-Carlos Delgado . . . . . 432

38. Cal Ripken Jr. . . . . . 431

39. Mike Piazza . . . . . 427

40. Billy Williams . . . . . 426

41. Darrell Evans . . . . . 414

42. Duke Snider . . . . . 407