Alex Rodriguez biography
Born in New York City in 1975, Alex Rodriguez made his major league debut with the Seattle Mariners at age 18, playing shortstop. He later played for the Texas Rangers and New York Yankees, and in 2007 became the youngest player to hit 500 career home runs. His career faltered after his 2009 admission that he had used performance-enhancing drugs from 2001 to 2003, but he went on to help the Yankees win the 2009 World Series.
Born Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez on July 27, 1975, in New York City, Alex Rodriguez was the youngest of Victor Rodriguez and Lourdes Navarro's three children. At an early age, baseball was a central part of Rodriguez's life. His father was a former pro catcher in his native Dominican Republic and a passionate New York Mets fan.
"I saw how passionate he was about the game," Rodriguez once recalled. "How closely he paid attention to it. That rubbed off on me."
At age 4, Rodriguez moved with his family to the Dominican Republic, where he first started playing baseball. When he reached fifth grade, however, the Rodriguez family was on the move again, this time relocating to Miami.
Not long afterward, Victor and Lourdes separated, leaving Rodriguez's mother to raise the family on her own.
In high school, Rodriguez was a gifted football player, playing quarterback at Westminster Christian School, a small private school in Miami. On the baseball field, Rodriguez was an even bigger star. In his junior year, he hit .477 and stole 42 bases in just 35 games while leading the school to the 1992 state championship. By his senior year, Rodriguez had made the decision to concentrate fully on baseball, and scouts jammed the school's ball field to watch the 6-foot 3-inch, 195-pound shortstop play.
Rodriguez had already committed to attend the University of Miami, but when he was selected number one overall in major league baseball's 1993 amateur draft by the Seattle Mariners, he went pro with a three-year, $1.3 million contract.
Rodriguez's rise through the Seattle system was meteoric. In 1994 made his major league debut. He got just 54 at-bats that year and 142 the following season. In 1996, however, A-Rod, as he quickly came to be known, was a full-timer and a star. That year he batted .358, clubbed 36 home runs and knocked in 123 runners to finish second in the MVP race.
Over the next decade, Rodriquez proved to be in baseball's best all-around player, putting up gaudy numbers that put him on track to be one of the game's all-time greats.
In 2001, Rodriguez signed the most lucrative contract in baseball history when he inked a 10-year, $252 million deal with the Texas Rangers. Even with the pressure of the contract, the shortstop's numbers didn't decline—he was named MVP in 2003—but the team around him never took off like he'd hoped. Following the 2003 season, he was traded to the New York Yankees, taking over third base so the club's future hall of fame shortstop, Derek Jeter, could stay put.
In New York, Rodriguez continued to post big numbers. In 2007, he had his best season yet, batting .314, hitting 56 home runs and knocking in 154 batters to earn his second MVP award. That same year, on August 4, at age 32, he became the youngest player to hit 500 career home runs.
But for all his talent, Rodriguez has never proven to be the most popular player in the majors, or even on his team. His unpopularity peaked just before the start of the 2009 season, when he admitted to taking steroids earlier in his career, raising questions about the validity of his numbers.
For years he was also dogged by an inability to come up big in the postseason and lead his club to a World Series title. Rodriguez finally silenced the critics when he helped carry New York to a crown in 2009.
Off the field, his personal life has become the stuff of tabloids. Following years of rumors about Rodriguez's infidelity, his wife, Cynthia, left him in 2008 after he'd been linked to an affair with Madonna. Rodriguez later dated Cameron Diaz.
Legacy in Question
It looked like Rodriguez would go down in baseball history as one of the game's most prolific offensive players. In 2010, he became the seventh player in major league history to hit 600 career home runs. Two years later, in June 2012, he led the Yankees to a win over the Atlanta Braves, hitting his 23rd grand slam and matching the record of Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig.
Rodriguez, however, found himself under fire in early 2013. Already on the disabled list after hip surgery, he faced new allegations of using performance-enhancing drugs. These claims surfaced in a New Miami Times article published in late January. The news report linked Rodriguez to a Florida clinic run by Dr. Anthony "Tony" Bosch. Bosch reportedly supplied Rodriguez and several other sports stars allegedly received drugs banned in major league baseball.
After the performance-enhancing drug story ran, it appeared that Rodriguez's days with the New York Yankees were numbered. ESPN and the New York Daily News printed articles stating that the Yankees were seeking a way to end their contract with Rodriguez.
Rodriguez has denied doping allegations for years, most recently in January 2013, when new claims detailing his alleged drug use were published. In response to these recent allegations, Sitrick and Company, a public relations firm working with the baseball player, issued the following statement: "The news report about a purported relationship between Alex Rodriguez and Anthony Bosch are not true. Alex Rodriguez was not Mr. Bosch's patient, he was never treated by him and he was never advised by him."