Alex Rodriguez Baseball Cards and Memorabilia
|Name:||Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez.|
|Birth date:||Washington Heights, NY, U.S.A.|
|Birthplace:||Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.|
|Breakthrough:||Being drafted first overall by the Seattle Mariners in 1993.|
Alex Rodriguez biography continues to be plagued with controversy, on February 9 2009, he admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs from 2001-03 when he played for the Texas Rangers. His explanation according to an interview with ESPN was “Back then it was a different culture. It was very loose. I was young. I was stupid.” The reasoning behind it? He said he wanted to prove to everyone he was a valuable player.
Alex Rodriguez Biography
Any Alex Rodriguez biography shows you a talented Hispanic-American athlete determined to succeed. He manages to make headlines for being an exceptional player as well as a controversial one. His accomplishments have made him one of the top famous Hispanic people of our times.
Alex Rodriguez, commonly known as A-Rod, is arguably one of the greatest all-around baseball players in the game today. This Alex Rodriguez biography shows an ambitious Hispanic athlete, who is often praised for his speed, power and agility. From 1996 to 2006, he lead Major League Baseball in home runs, runs scored, runs batted in, total bases and extra base hits.
But this Alex Rodriguez biography is also a story of one of baseball’s more controversial players. After signing a $252 million contract in 2001, the largest sports contract then and now, he became known as baseball’s “quarter-billion-dollar superstar.”
His ability to come through in the clutch has been questioned and his tactics on the field sometimes labeled “unprofessional.”
The handsome Rodriguez has also grabbed headlines for his behavior off the field, including going to strip clubs and escorting women around town while married.
Still, Rodriguez remains resolute to let his numbers speak for themselves. In a June 2007 interview for MLB com, he said, “I’m at that point where I’ve let all distractions get out of the way and really focus on the game. I really enjoy the game and don’t worry about what’s being written and what’s being said.”
Alex Rodriguez Childhood and Early Years
So who really is this baseball superstar famous for signing the top contract for any athlete? He is the son of Dominican parents Victor and Lourdes and was born in Washington Heights, NYC on July 27, 1975.
This Alex Rodriguez biography tells the story of a difficult childhood. When he was four, his parents moved from NYC to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic where his father ran a pharmacy. But times got tough and the family returned to the U.S., this time to live in Kendal, a suburb of Miami, Fl.
After a few years, Rodriguez’ father left them after saying he was going to NY to work for a while, but he never returned. Later on his parents divorced. Rodriguez told Sports Illustrated for Kids in July 1997, “It was hard. I did my best to help out around the house and bring home good grades to make my mom proud.”
How Did A-Rods Passion for Baseball Start?
Any Alex Rodriguez biography speaks of a child with a strong desire to play. It all happened when his dad introduced Alex to the game. Victor Rodriguez had been a catcher for a Dominican minor league baseball team. Father and son spent a lot of time playing baseball back in the Dominican Republic. Rodriguez loved the sport from day one, and was eager to take advantage of any opportunity to play baseball.
His parents’ divorce and seeing his mother work two jobs to support the family fueled his desire to become an honor student and a star shortstop at Miami’s Westminster Christian School. In addition to playing basketball and football for the school, he became their starting shortstop in tenth grade, where his coach Rich Hoffman not only helped him improve his hitting, but arranged for his financial aid.
Rodriguez’ batted .419 with 17 HR, 70 RBI, and 90 SB in 100 games. His team won the high school national championship his junior year. In his senior year he was selected as the USA Baseball Junior Player of the Year and Gatorade National Baseball Student Athlete of the Year.
Alex started to follow Major League Baseball. He became a fan of the Atlanta Braves and New York Mets, the teams whose games were shown on Miami television.
Who inspired him? The official Alex Rodriguez biography at his website mentions Dale Murphy, Cal Ripken and Keith Hernandez. Dale Murphy wore the #3 and Alex did the same for the first nine years of his career. Cal Ripken Jr. inspired Alex to play shortstop, and later on in his career Alex succeed him as the game’s premier shortstop.
Alex Rodriguez’ Breakthrough
Alex’s talent attracted attention and when he graduated high school in 1993, he was the first player in the nation selected in the free agent draft. The Seattle Mariners signed him and in July of 1994 at the age of 18, Alex Rodriguez made his major league debut.
Alex Rodriguez shuffled back and forth between the Minor Leagues but in 1996 he had his first full season as starting shortstop and this was an opportunity he didn’t waste. That year Alex Rodriguez’s biography added one more success as he became the American League batting champion, hitting .358 with 35 HR and 123 RBIs. He also led the American League in runs scored (141), doubles (54) and total bases (379) and was selected to his first All-Star Game.
His average in 1996 was the third highest ever for a shortstop and the highest for an American League right-hander since Joe DiMaggio in 1939. He was selected by both Sporting News and the Associated Press as Major League Player of the Year and narrowly missed winning the American League Most Valuable Player Award (MVP).
After his numbers dipped in 1997, Rodriguez rebounded in 1998 by becoming the third player in Major League Baseball history to enter the prestigious 40-40 club: he hit 42 HR and stole 46 bases, all while batting .310. The following year he produced good numbers but missed 32 games while on the disabled list for torn cartilage in his knee.
In 2000 he hit 41 HR with 132 RBI and had a .316 batting average, becoming the first shortstop to have 100 R, RBI, and walks in the same season. He had a .409 batting average and .773 slugging percentage in the post-season but the Mariners lost the American League Championship title to the New York Yankees.
Hitting the Jackpot
Alex Rodriguez’ contract expired in 2000 and he became a free agent. He signed the most lucrative contract in sports history (as of September 2007) with the Texas Rangers, a 10-year $252 million deal.
Who says money doesn’t motivate? In 2001 Alex batted .318 with 201 hits 135 RBIs and 52 HR, becoming the fourth player in Major League Baseball history to have both 50 HR and 200 hits in a season.
In 2002 he surpassed his mark with 57 HR, leading the Major Leagues and posting the highest number of HR in the American League since Roger Maris broke Babe Ruth’s record with 61 HR in 1961. This same year, Rodriguez was also awarded his first Gold Glove for outstanding defense.
In 2003 he received his first MVP award, most valuable player award and, at 27 years, 249 days, became the youngest player ever to hit 300 career home runs. Rodriguez led the American League in home runs, runs scored, and slugging percentage, and won his second consecutive Gold Glove.
Alex Rodriguez and The NY Yankees
In 2004 the Texas Rangers traded him to the New York Yankees for second baseman Alfonso Soriano, and a player to be named later (Joaquín Arias).
Rodriguez agreed to play third base instead of shortstop after Yankee third baseman Aaron Boone suffered a knee injury and also because popular player (and longtime friend) Derek Jeter was already entrenched at shortstop. Rodriguez also could no longer wear #3: he adopted number 13 on his uniform because #3 is a retired number in honor of Babe Ruth.
A-Rod always wanted to play baseball in NY. He said at his press conference: “This is a dream come true playing in New York where I was born.” He also praised Yankee manager Joe Torre and the team when he said “I feel overjoyed to play for a great manager like Joe Torre and for such a great team like the Yankees.”
Rodriguez’ Autographed Baseballs
In his first season as a Yankee, Alex hit .286, with 36 HR, 106 RBIs and 28 SB. In 2005, Alex again won the American League MVP award after batting .321 and leading the league with 124 R and 48 HR while driving in 130 RBI. He was the first Yankee to win the MVP award since Don Mattingly in 1985. In 2006 he hit .290 with 113 R, 35HR, 121RBI and 15SB and became the 8th player to reach 2,000 hits before turning 31. He also became the 2nd player in Major League history to have at least 35 HR, 100 R, and 100 RBI in nine consecutive seasons. In August 2007, Rodriguez hit his 500th home run, becoming, at 32, the youngest player in major league history to reach the milestone. In October 2007, A-Rod opted out of his remaining 3 years on Yankee contract becoming a free-agent again. But after all the controversy involving his agent Boras, Rodriguez and the New York Yankees agreed on a 10-year, $275 million contract.
Alex Rodriguez Cards
A Rod’s baseball cards are one of the sought after sports collectibles of the industry. His popularity has grown so much that some of his baseball cards are worth more than some of the cars of some Baseball Hall of Famers even though Rodriguez has not been inducted. His rookie baseball cards, which are the first cards produced of a player as part of a card set, like the the Upper Deck SP #15 or the 1994 Score ALEX RODRIGUEZ Rookie selling for $9,999.99, have reached high prices in the world of memorabilia. Not all of the A Rod’s cards are so valuable, and many fans who can’t justify the price are acquiring some cards that have the signature of this baseball dynamo. Many keep the cards as an investment knowing one day he will be inducted in the Hall of Fame.
Alex Rodriguez’ Love Life
Rodriguez divorced Cynthia Scurits, a high school psychology teacher. They tied the knot in November of 2002 with a small ceremony. This was one of Dallas’s best-kept secrets. How did they meet? Working out! They met in 1998 at “Body and Soul” gym in Coconut Grove, Florida. Not surprising since A-Rod is well known to like his daily workout to keep himself in shape. Alex Rodriguez’ daughter, Natasha Alexander was born on November 18, 2004.
Eileen Thompson, A-Rod publicist, told PEOPLE: “My wife and I are elated. We have been truly blessed.” At the time he was 29 and his wife 31. In 2007 he and his wife’s relationship was the target of public scrutiny after Rodriguez was photographed entering his hotel with stripper Joslyn Noel Morse. His frequenting of strip clubs has become well-known and the NY tabloids began to suspect that his marriage was on the rocks.
His wife seemed to be responding to this new spotlight on her marriage when she was photographed at a game wearing a t-shirt with a vulgar message written on the back, a move that drew criticism from fans. His wife filed for divorce, and her reason cited by Ruper Neate in the Telegraph.co.uk was that “the New York Yankees player had been unfaithful and ’emotionally abandoned his wife and children!’.” Also there has been public denials from Madonna.
Another of Rodriguez’ relationships that is continually talked about in the press is that of his friendship with Yankee star shortstop Derek Jeter. The two had been close buddies throughout the 1990s, “like blood brothers” Rodriguez told the press in 2007, but things cooled after A-Rod gave an interview to Esquire magazine in which he said that Jeter was not a threat on the field. “The reality is there’s been a change in the relationship over 14 years and, hopefully, we can just put it behind us,” he told ESPN in 2007 after years of refusing to acknowledge the change. “You go from sleeping over at somebody’s house five days a week, and now you don’t sleep over. It’s just not that big of a deal.”
What Are the Critics Saying About A-Rod?
His ability to perform in the clutch is often under scrutiny, something he dismissed in 2006 to the NY Daily News: “I’ve done a lot of special things in this game, and for none of that to be considered clutch, it’s an injustice,” he was quoted saying.
He was also attacked for his behavior in the 2004 American League Championship series against Boston when he hit the ball out of Rex Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo’s hand during a tag play at first base. Red Sox players criticized Rodriguez and referred to the move as “junior high school baseball.”
His sportsmanship was again attacked in May 2007, after he shouted something, he says he yelled “Hah!” while the Blue Jays say he shouted “Mine!,” “while rounding the bases on an infield fly, distracting the third baseman from making the catch.
Alex Rodríguez the Humanitarian
I noticed very few Alex Rodriguez’ biographies mentioning his humanitarian side. Alex is one of three national spokespersons for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. He has said he truly feels a strong connection to the organization.
He said in his CNN.com bio: “The Boys and Girls Club was a great place for me to grow up because it gave me an avenue to stay away from drugs, alcohol, and have a place where you can go do your homework, play ball. And basically there’s no pressure there.” He hosts an annual dinner to raise money for Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami.
Alex founded the AROD Basketball Classic in 2002. The purpose is to benefit the Miami-Dade area charities through basketball tournaments that draw talent from all over the country. In 2003 Cinthya and Alex Rodriguez gave $3.9 million to the University of Miami for the renovation of its baseball stadium, and scholarship money for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami.
Rodriguez has said he feels a strong connection to the university because it gave him the opportunity to play college baseball right after high school, an opportunity he turned down to sign with the Major Leagues. In May of 2005, Alex and Cynthia donated $200,000 to the Children’s Aid Society in NY. The money was used to place therapists into schools located in Washington Heights, which is the neighborhood where Alex Rodriguez was born.
The same year, Alex Rodriguez and his wife donated enough money to the UNICEF branch in the Dominican Republic to fund and operate five daycare facilities for a full year. A-Rod has already proven himself a Hispanic baseball legend. Let’s just hope that this famous Hispanic baseball player continues to amaze his fans with his talent and skills on the field.
There is no doubt, Alex Rodriguez’s biography is made of a marvelous mix of struggles that marked his humble beginnings and success that have accompanied him for quite some time.
Alex Rodriguez Autographed Pictures
Here I have a selection of top notch Alex Rodriguez autographed photos, Alex Rodriguez signed pictures. These are collectible items that can surge in value even more based on A Rod’s performance, on the other hand who doesn’t like to own a pice of history?
Alex Rodriguez Jerseys
These items allow you to own a piece of the action. Just think about the incredible accomplishments of this legendary Latino baseball player…if somebody thought of you and gave you one of these beauties! One word of advice, women sometimes don’t have a clue of what to give the man in their lives. Simply drop a hint or don’t wait to get one of these fabulous jerseys. Give yourself a gift that brings all the action and emotion of the game.
This Alex biography is short in telling you many of the accomplishments this famous Hispanic baseball player has under his belt but one thing is for sure, it doesn’t matter that his personal life has been under so much scrutiny or the last outcome of the major baseball figures related to steroids, his fame and game have Alex Rodriguez memorabilia’s price on the rise because of his sport abilities.