Manny Ramirez hit a two-run homer in the top of the sixth inning Friday night in the Dodgers' 12-8 extra-inning win against the Brewers at Miller Park, tying Mickey Mantle for 15th place on the all-time home run list with 536 career home runs.
"It feels good, but it's just like another home run," Ramirez said after the game. "It makes me proud but ... it's just another home run that I hit. I didn't even know I tied him."
The home run was Ramirez's ninth of the season and third since returning from a 50-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball's drug policy.
Because of Ramirez testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs, Dodgers manager Joe Torre admits current and future baseball fans may look at Ramirez differently. Still, Torre said Ramirez's abilities belong in the same breath with players such as Mantle.
"Manny's a special talent, there's no question. So was Mickey, obviously," Torre said. "With his ability -- and I know there's going to be some questions for the rest of his career, I'm not sure you can question how many he hits. It's how far they go, I think [that PED's affect]."
It took Mantle 18 injury-riddled seasons to bang out his 536 home runs, which, when he retired, ranked third all-time behind Babe Ruth and Willie Mays.
Mike Schmidt is next on the all-time list with 548 home runs.
Ramirez, now in his 17th season in the Majors, has put up well above-average numbers throughout his career. Along with his 536 home runs, the 37-year-old has hit .315 and collected 1,754 RBIs.
Brewers manager Ken Macha said Ramirez has been a consistently dangerous hitter throughout his career.
"I remember seeing him back in Cleveland," Macha said. "At that time, I was the bench coach with Oakland, and I think he had maybe 40 at-bats against us one year and hit three ground balls. The rest of them, he had that stroke where he was hitting line drives or homers. So I've seen a few of those."
After being traded from Boston to Los Angeles on July 31 last season, Ramirez hit .396 with 17 home runs and 53 RBIs in 53 games with the Dodgers, leading the team to the National League West championship and eventually to the NL Championship Series.
Between the show he put on last season and the home run Friday night, Ramirez's place in baseball history isn't lost on Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp.
"That means I'm playing with a great hitter," Kemp said of playing with a player who hit as many home runs as Mantle. "Somebody who's been doing some big things throughout his career and I'm just feeding off him, learning from him. Basically, I'm just glad to have him on my team because I'm learning a lot from him."
Cash Kruth is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less