Alex Rodriguez on the Hall of Fame: 'I want to get in, I hope I get in, I pray I get in'

Alex Rodriguez is not in the Baseball Hall of Fame. But that's not for a lack of desire to be there.

The longtime New York Yankees star may have known in 2009, when he admitted to steroid use earlier in his MLB career, that he'd always be a question mark for Cooperstown. But that doesn't mean, almost 10 years later, that he wouldn't love the recognition.

Interviewed for the cover story of Cigar Aficionado, Rodriguez said this week that his history with performance-enhancing drugs has rightfully tarnished his chances of induction. And yet he's still hopeful that some day, his name will be called.

"There's rules, and you have to follow the rules. I made those mistakes, and at the end of the day I have to live by those mistakes. Whether I get in or not -- and let's be clear, I want to 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 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 ... The other message is, maybe I'm not a Hall of Fame player, but I get a chance to be a Hall of Fame dad, a Hall of Fame friend."

Rodriguez added in his interview that he "was a mess" at the time of his 2014 MLB suspension, which centered on additional drug use, saying he was "making these dumb, silly decisions" amid an exploration of childhood issues involving the abandonment of his father at age 10. He said he's hoping now to keep himself out of the polarizing spotlight, with or without the Hall of Fame nod.

A 14-time All-Star, Rodriguez retired after the 2016 season. He spent the first 10 years of his MLB career between the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers, then played for the Yankees starting in 2004. He won a trio of AL MVP awards, 10 Silver Slugger honors and five AL home run titles and one World Series ring with the Yankees.

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