Hank Aaron

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Posted by pompos 03/24/2009 @ 15:08

Tags : hank aaron, former baseball players, baseball, sports

News headlines
Roemer, Rain Wash Away Six-Game Skid - OurSports Central (press release)
Wes Roemer earned his first victory at the Double-A level as the baybears snapped their six-game losing streak by taking care of the Huntsville Stars in a rain-shortened five innings at Hank Aaron Stadium, 5-1. Roemer (1-0) didn't even allow a hit...
8 Times Hank Aaron Faced Racism: #7, 715 - Talking Chop
by gondeee on May 14, 2009 8:19 AM EDT 4 comments This is the seventh installment of the terrific series by Chris Mays, highlighting several times that Hank Aaron faced racism. These were originally posted on his blog, The 8 Things, and are reprinted...
Thom Loverro: Aaron, not steroids, will stand test of time - Washington Times
No one mentioned Barry Bonds' name Monday, but Hank Aaron's name came up a lot. And whether intentional or not, the well-deserved glorifying of Aaron is a statement against Barry Bonds and the entire steroid era - which the Hall of Fame plans to deal...
Hank Aaron gets new home base at Hall of Fame - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
On Saturday, Hank Aaron came back to Cooperstown - where ballplayers are forever young - and reminded a new generation of fans just why he's part of the fabric and history of a game, and a nation. Thirty-five years after he surpassed the great Ruth to...
Montgomery Takes 4th Straight at "The Hank" - OurSports Central (press release)
Despite a solid starting pitching effort from Barry Enright, the BayBears' offense once again was limited by the Montgomery Biscuits in a 4-2 loss on Thursday night at Hank Aaron Stadium. Enright (1-3) dashed through the Montgomery (17-17) lineup after...
BayBears Tossed Around as Biscuits Complete Sweep - OurSports Central (press release)
With the BayBears poised to snap their four-game losing streak and avoid a sweep on Friday night, the Montgomery Biscuits jumped on the scoreboard early and often in a 13-3 rout at Hank Aaron Stadium. Montgomery (18-17) took advantage of a two-out...
Kids as critics: 'Hank Aaron' - Poughkeepsie Journal
By Nickolas Damante This story is about a famous baseball player named Hank Aaron. He broke Babe Ruth's record for home runs and the book talks about what he did when he retired. Hank Aaron was born on Feb. 5, 1934, in Alabama....
Biscuits Brush Aside Mobile, 4-1 - OurSports Central (press release)
MOBILE, AL - The Biscuits rode a strong performance from Heath Rollins to their third straight win, defeating the BayBears, 4-1, in a ballgame delayed by rain for an hour and 21 minutes at Hank Aaron Stadium on Wednesday afternoon....
8 Times Hank Aaron Faced Racism: #2, Even in Wisconsin - Talking Chop
by gondeee on Apr 27, 2009 7:00 AM EDT 6 comments Here is the second installment of the terrific series by Chris Mays, highlighting some times that Hank Aaron faced racism. These were originally posted on his blog, The 8 Things, and are reprinted with...

Hank Aaron

Hank Aaron's Plaque at the Baseball Hall of Fame

Henry Louis "Hank" Aaron (born February 5, 1934 in Mobile, Alabama), nicknamed "Hammer," "Hammerin' Hank,” and "Bad Henry,” is a retired American baseball player whose Major League Baseball (MLB) career spanned from 1954 through 1976. After playing with the Indianapolis Clowns of the Negro American League and in the minor leagues, Aaron started his Major League Baseball career in 1954. He played 21 seasons with the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves in the National League, and his last two years (1975–76) with the Milwaukee Brewers in the American League. In his career, Aaron had many accomplishments and set many records. His most notable achievement was setting the MLB record for most career home runs with 755, which he held for 33 years until being surpassed by San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds on August 7, 2007.

During his professional career, Aaron performed at a consistently high level for an extended period of time. He hit 24 or more home runs every year from 1955 through 1973, and is the only player to hit 30 or more home runs in a season at least 15 times. He is one of only four players to have at least 17 seasons with 150 or more hits. Aaron made the All-Star team every year from 1955 until 1975 and won three Rawlings Gold Glove Awards. In 1957 he won the National League Most Valuable Player Award, while that same year, the Braves won the World Series. It was Aaron's one World Series victory during his career as a player.

Aaron's consistency helped him to establish a number of important hitting records during his 23-year career. Aaron holds the MLB records for the most career runs batted in (2,297), the most career extra base hits (1,477), and the most career total bases (6,856). He is also in the top five for career hits with 3,771 (3rd) and runs with 2,174 (tied for 4th with Babe Ruth). He also is in second place in at-bats (12,364), and in third place in games (3,298).

To honor Aaron's contributions to Major League Baseball, MLB created the Hank Aaron Award, an annual award given to the hitters voted the most effective in each respective league. He is the last Negro league baseball player to play in the major leagues. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982, his first year of eligibility.

In 1999, editors at The Sporting News ranked Hank Aaron 5th on their list of "Greatest Baseball Players." That same year, baseball fans named Aaron to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.

In 2002, scholar Molefi Kete Asante listed Hank Aaron on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans.

Hank Aaron was born in Mobile, Alabama to Herbert and Estella Aaron. By the time his parents were finished having children, Aaron had seven siblings. Tommie Aaron, one of his brothers, also went on to play Major League Baseball. By the time Aaron retired, he and his brother held the record for most career home runs by a pair of siblings (768). They were also the first siblings to appear in a League Championship Series as teammates.

While he was born in a section of Mobile referred to as "Down the Bay," he spent most of his youth in Toulminville. Aaron grew up poor. He picked cotton on a farm, and to this day people say that strengthened his hands so he could hit more home runs. His family couldn't afford baseball equipment, so he practiced by hitting bottle caps with sticks. Aaron attended Central High School as a freshman and a sophomore. There he played outfield and third base on the baseball team and helped lead his team to the Negro High School Championship both years. During this time, he also excelled in football. His success on the football field led to several football scholarship offers. Aaron turned these down to pursue a career in major league baseball. Although he batted cross-handed (that is, as a right-handed hitter, with his left hand above his right), a somewhat unconventional batting method, Aaron had already established himself as a top power hitter. As a result, in 1949, at the age of 15, Aaron had his first tryout with a MLB franchise. Aaron tried to make the Brooklyn Dodgers; his tryout did not go well, however, and he did not make the team. After the tryout, Aaron returned to school to finish his secondary education. His last two years were spent at the Josephine Allen Institute, a private high school in Alabama. During his junior year, Aaron joined the Mobile Black Bears, an independent Negro league team. While on the Bears, Aaron earned $10 per game.

Aaron's major league career began on November 20, 1951, baseball scout Ed Scott signed Aaron to a contract on behalf of the Indianapolis Clowns.

After relocating to Indianapolis, 18-year-old Aaron helped the Clowns win the 1952 Negro League World Series. As a result of his standout play, Aaron received two telegram offers from MLB teams. One offer was from the New York Giants and the other from the Boston Braves (who would move to Milwaukee the following year). Aaron elected to play for the Braves, who purchased him from the Clowns for $10,000. On June 14, 1952, Aaron signed with Braves' scout Dewey Griggs. During this time, he picked up the nickname "pork chops" for eating strictly pork chops and French fries while traveling with his team.

The Braves assigned Aaron to the Eau Claire Bears, the Braves' Northern League Class-C farm team. The 1952 season proved to be very beneficial for Aaron. Playing in the infield, Aaron continued to develop as a ballplayer and in fact made the Northern League's All-Star team. He broke his habit of hitting cross-handed and adopted the standard hitting technique. By the end of the season, he had performed so well that the league made him the unanimous choice for Rookie of the Year. Although he appeared in just 87 games, he scored 89 runs, had 116 hits, 9 home runs, and 61 RBI. In addition, Aaron hit for a .336 batting average.

1953 also proved notable to Aaron off the field. Aaron met a woman by the name of Barbara Lewis. The night he met her, Lewis decided to attend the Tars' game. Aaron singled, doubled, and hit a home run in the game. On October 6, 1953, Aaron and Lewis married.

Before being promoted to the Major League team, Aaron spent the winter of 1953 playing in Puerto Rico. Mickey Owen, the team's manager, helped Aaron with his batting stance. After working with Owen, Aaron was better able to hit the ball effectively all over the field. Previously, Aaron was only able to hit for power when he hit the ball to left field or center field. During his stay in Puerto Rico the Braves requested that Aaron start playing in the outfield. This was the first time Aaron had played any position other than shortstop or second base with the Braves.

On March 13, 1954, Milwaukee Braves left fielder Bobby Thomson broke his ankle while sliding into second base during a spring training game. The next day, Aaron made his first spring training start for the Braves' major league team, playing in left field and hitting a home run. On April 13, 1954, Aaron made his major league debut and went 0-for-5 against the Cincinnati Reds' Joe Nuxhall. In the same game, Eddie Mathews hit two home runs, the first of a record 863 home runs the pair would hit as teammates. On April 15, 1954, Aaron collected his first major league hit, a single off Cardinals pitcher Vic Raschi. Aaron hit his first Major League home run eight days later on April 23, also off Raschi. Over the next 122 games, Aaron batted .280 with 13 homers before he suffered a broken ankle on September 5.

In 1955, Aaron made his first All-Star team; it was the first of a record-tying 24 All-Star Game appearances. He finished the season with a .314 average, 27 home runs and 106 RBI. Aaron hit .328 in 1956 and captured first of two NL batting titles. He was also named The Sporting News NL Player of the Year.

In 1957, Aaron won his only NL MVP Award. He batted .322 and led the league in home runs and runs batted in. On September 23, 1957, Aaron hit a two-run walk-off home run in the 11th inning of a game against the Cardinals. The win clinched the Braves' first pennant in Milwaukee, and Aaron was carried off the field by his teammates. Milwaukee went on to win the World Series against the New York Yankees. Aaron did his part by hitting .393 with three homers and seven RBI.

In 1958, Aaron hit .326, with 30 home runs and 95 RBIs. He led the Braves to another pennant, but this time they lost a seven-game World Series to the Yankees. Aaron finished third in the MVP race, but he picked up his first Gold Glove.

During the next several years, Aaron had some of his best games and best seasons as a major league player. On June 21, 1959 against the San Francisco Giants, he hit three two-run home runs. It was the only time in his career that he hit three home runs in a game.

Aaron nearly won the triple crown in 1963. He led the league with 44 home runs and 130 RBI and finished third in batting average. In that season, Aaron became the third player to steal 30 bases and hit 30 home runs in a single season. Despite that, he again finished third in the MVP voting.

The Braves moved from Milwaukee to Atlanta after the 1965 season.

During his days in Atlanta, Aaron reached a number of milestones. He was only the eighth player ever to hit 500 career home runs. At the time, he was the second youngest player to reach that plateau.

On July 31, 1969, Aaron hit his 537th home run, passing Mickey Mantle. This moved him into third place on the career home run list behind Willie Mays and Babe Ruth. At the end of the season, Aaron again finished 3rd in the MVP voting.

The next year Aaron reached two career milestones. On May 17, 1970, Aaron collected his 3,000th hit. This was done in a game against the Cincinnati Reds, the team against which he played his first game. He was the first player to get 3,000 career hits and 500 career home runs. Also during that year, Aaron established the record for most seasons with 30 or more home runs in the National League.

On April 27, 1971, Aaron hit his 600th career home run, the third player ever to do so. On July 31, Aaron hit a home run in the All-Star Game (played at Detroit's Tiger Stadium) for the first time. He hit his 40th home run of the season against the Giants' Jerry Johnson on August 10. This established a National League record for most seasons with 40 or more home runs (seven). At age 37, he hit a career-high 47 home runs during the season (to go along with a career-high .669 slugging percentage) and finished third in MVP voting for the 6th time.

During the strike shortened season of 1972, Aaron tied and then surpassed Willie Mays for second place on the career home run list. Aaron also knocked in the 2,000th run of his career and hit a home run in the first All-Star game in Atlanta. As the year came to a close, Aaron broke Stan Musial's major league record for total bases (6,134).

While many expected Aaron to break Ruth's home run record in 1973, a key moment of the season came on August 6. This was Hank Aaron Day in Wisconsin and the Atlanta Braves played the Milwaukee Brewers in an exhibition game. The guests in attendance included Aaron's first manager with the Braves, "Jolly Cholly" Grimm, his teammate from Jacksonville, Felix Mantilla, Eau Claire president Ron Berganson, and Del Crandall, the catcher for the 1957 World Champion Braves and the current manager of the Brewers.

The only position that the Braves wanted Aaron to play was as the Designated Hitter because the game was held in an American League park. However, at that time the National League prohibited use of the DH even in scrimmages. Due to the fact that National League president Chub Feeney could not be reached, it was left up to the umpire, Bruce Froemming to make a decision. Froemming ignored the rule and allowed Aaron to be the DH for the Braves. Later on, National League officials ignored the infraction.

Although Aaron himself downplayed the "chase" to surpass Babe Ruth, baseball enthusiasts and the national media grew increasingly excited as he closed in on the home run record. During the summer of 1973 Aaron received thousands of letters every week; the Braves ended up hiring a secretary to help him sort through it.

At the age of 39, Aaron managed to slug 40 home runs in 392 at-bats, ending the season one home run short of the record. He hit home run number 713 on September 29, 1973, and with one day remaining in the season, many expected him to tie the record. But in his final game that year, playing against the Houston Astros (led by manager Leo Durocher, who had once roomed with Babe Ruth), he was unable to hit one out of the park. After the game, Aaron stated that his only fear was that he might not live to see the 1974 season.

Over the winter, Aaron was the recipient of death threats and a large assortment of hate mail from people who did not want to see a black man break Ruth's nearly sacrosanct home run record. The threats extended to those providing positive press coverage of Aaron. Lewis Grizzard, then editor of the Atlanta Journal, reported receiving numerous phone calls calling them "nigger lovers" for covering Aaron's chase. While preparing the massive coverage of the home run record, he quietly had an obituary written, scared that Aaron might be murdered.

Aaron received an outpouring of public support in response to the bigotry. Babe Ruth's widow, Claire Hodgson, even denounced the racism and declared that her husband would have enthusiastically cheered Aaron's attempt at the record.

As the 1974 season began, Aaron's pursuit of the home run record caused a small controversy. The Braves opened the season on the road in Cincinnati with a three game series against the Reds. Braves management wanted him to break the record in Atlanta, and were therefore going to have Aaron sit out the first three games of the season. But Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn ruled that he had to play two games in the first series. He played two out of three, tying Babe Ruth's record in his very first at bat off Reds pitcher Jack Billingham, but did not hit another home run in the series.

The team returned to Atlanta, and on April 8, 1974, a crowd of 53,775 people showed up for the game — a Braves attendance record. In the 4th inning, Aaron hit career home run number 715 off L.A. Dodgers pitcher Al Downing. Although Dodgers outfielder Bill Buckner nearly went over the outfield wall trying to catch it, the ball landed in the Braves bullpen, where relief pitcher Tom House caught it. While cannons were fired in celebration, two white college students sprinted onto the field and jogged alongside Aaron as he circled the base paths. As the fans cheered wildly, Aaron's mother ran onto the field as well.

A few months later, on October 5, 1974, Aaron hit his 733rd and final home run as a Brave, which stood as the National League's home run record until it was broken by Barry Bonds in 2006. Thirty days later, the Braves traded Aaron to the Milwaukee Brewers for Roger Alexander and Dave May. Because the Brewers were an American League team, he was able to extend his career by taking advantage of the designated hitter rule. On May 1, 1975, Aaron broke baseball's all-time RBI record, previously held by Ruth with 2,217. That year, he also made the last of his 24 record-tying (with Musial and Mays) All-Star appearances; he lined out to Dave Concepción as a pinch-hitter in the second inning. This All-Star game, like his first in 1955, was before a home crowd at Milwaukee County Stadium.

On July 20, 1976, Hank Aaron hit his 755th and final home run at Milwaukee County Stadium off Dick Drago of the California Angels.

On August 1, 1982 Hank Aaron was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, having received votes on 97.8 percent of the ballots, second to only Ty Cobb, who had received votes on 98.2% of the ballot in the inaugural 1936 Hall of Fame election. Aaron was then named the Braves' vice president and director of player development. This made him one of the first minorities in Major League Baseball upper-level management.

Since December 1989, he has served as senior vice president and assistant to the Braves' president. He is the corporate vice president of community relations for TBS, a member of the company's board of directors and the vice president of business development for The Airport Network.

On May 16, 2007, Major League baseball announced the sale of the Atlanta Braves. In that announcement, Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig also announced that Aaron would be playing a major role in the management of Atlanta Braves. He will be forming programs through Major League Baseball that will encourage the influx of minorities into baseball.

On February 5, 1999, at his 65th birthday celebration, Major League Baseball announced the introduction of the Hank Aaron Award. The award was set to honor the best overall offensive performer in the American and National League. It was the first major award to be introduced in more than thirty years and it was also the first award named after a player who was still alive. Later that year, he ranked number 5 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, and was elected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.

In July 2000 and again in July 2002, Aaron threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, played at Turner Field and Miller Park, respectively.

In June 2002, Aaron received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.

His autobiography I Had a Hammer was published in 1990. The book's title is a play on his nickname, "The Hammer" or "Hammerin' Hank," and the title of the folk song If I Had a Hammer. Aaron now owns Hank Aaron BMW of south Atlanta in Union City, Georgia, where he gives an autographed baseball with every car sold. Aaron also owns Mini, Jaguar, Land Rover, Toyota, Hyundai and Honda dealerships throughout Georgia, as part of the Hank Aaron Automotive Group. Aaron sold all but the Toyota dealership in McDonough in 2007.

Statues of Aaron stand outside the front entrance of both Turner Field and Miller Park. There is also a statue of him as an 18-year-old shortstop outside of Carson Park in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where he played his first season in the Braves' minor league system.

In April 1997, a new baseball facility for the AA Mobile Bay Bears constructed in Aaron's hometown of Mobile, Alabama was named Hank Aaron Stadium.

In 2006, a recreational trail in Milwaukee connecting Miller Park with Lake Michigan along the Menomonee River was dedicated as the "Hank Aaron State Trail." Hank Aaron was on hand for the dedication along with Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle, who at the ceremony described himself as a boyhood fan of Aaron's.

During the 2006 season, San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds passed Babe Ruth and moved into 2nd place on the all-time home run list, attracting growing media coverage as he drew ever closer to Aaron's record. Playing off the intense interest in their perceived rivalry, Aaron and Bonds made a television commercial that aired during Super Bowl XLI, shortly before the start of the 2007 baseball season, in which Aaron jokingly tried to persuade Bonds to retire before breaking the record.

As Bonds began to close in on the record during the 2007 season, Aaron let it be known that, although he recognized Bonds' achievements, he would not be present when Bonds broke the record. There was considerable speculation that this was a snubbing of Bonds based on the widespread belief that Bonds had used performance-enhancing steroids to power his achievement. However, some observers looked back to Aaron's personal history, pointing out that he had downplayed his own breaking of Babe Ruth's all-time record and suggesting that Aaron was simply treating Bonds in a similar fashion. In a later interview with Atlanta sportscasting personality Chris Dimino, Aaron made it clear that his reluctance to attend any celebration of a new home run record was based upon his personal conviction that baseball is not about breaking records, but simply playing to the best of your potential.

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Hank Aaron Stadium

Hank Aaron Stadium is a baseball stadium in Mobile, Alabama, United States. It hosts the Mobile BayBears, a minor-league professional team in the Southern League. The stadium opened in 1997 and has a capacity of 6,000. The ballpark was named after Major League Baseball's home run king (from 1974 to 2007) and Mobile native Hank Aaron. It also features a commemorative plaque outside the stadium to honor each Mobilian enshrined at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

Hank Aaron Stadium is unique in that the luxury suites are at field level. Thus, infield seating for the general public is elevated from the field by approximately twenty feet.

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Hank Aaron Award

The Hank Aaron Award is an annual award in Major League Baseball awarded to the top hitter in each league. It was introduced in 1999 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Hank Aaron's surpassing of Babe Ruth's career home run mark.

In 1999, a winner was selected using an objective points system. Hits, home runs, and runs batted in were given certain point values and the winner was the player who had the highest tabulated points total. The system was changed in 2000, however, to a ballot system, whereby each club's radio and television play-by-play broadcasters and color analysts were given three player votes for each league. The first place vote receives five points, the second place vote receives three points, and the third place vote receives one point, and again the winner is the player with the highest point total. Beginning in 2003, fans were given the opportunity to vote through the MLB.com website. Fan's votes accounted for 30% of the points, with broadcaster's and analyst's votes accounting for the other 70%.

The award is sponsored by Century 21 Real Estate.

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Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez with Leones del Escogido uniform, playing the 1994 Dominican Winter League season.

Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez (born July 27, 1975), nicknamed A-Rod, is a Dominican American professional baseball player. He currently plays third base for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball. He previously played shortstop for the Seattle Mariners and the Texas Rangers.

Rodriguez is considered one of the best all–around baseball players of all time. He is the youngest player ever to hit 500 home runs, breaking the record Jimmie Foxx set in 1939.

In December 2007, Rodriguez and the Yankees agreed to a 10 year, $275 million contract. This contract was the richest contract in baseball history (breaking his previous record of $252 million).

In February 2009, Rodriguez admitted to using banned substances from 2001 to 2003, citing "an enormous amount of pressure to perform".

Rodriguez was born in the Washington Heights section of New York City to a Dominican family. When he was four, Rodriguez and his parents moved to their native Dominican Republic, then to Miami, Florida. Rodriguez's favorite baseball players when he was growing up were Keith Hernandez, Dale Murphy, and Cal Ripken. His favorite team growing up was the New York Mets.

Rodriguez was a star shortstop at Miami's Westminster Christian High School. In 100 games he batted .419 with 90 steals. Westminster went on to win the high school national championship in his junior year. He was first team prep All-American as a senior, hitting .505 with 9 home runs, 36 RBI, and 35 steals in 35 tries in 33 games, and was selected as the USA Baseball Junior Player of the Year and as Gatorade's national baseball student athlete of the year. Rodriguez was the first high school player to ever try out for Team USA in 1993, and was regarded as the top prospect in the country.

Rodriguez signed a letter of intent to play baseball for the University of Miami and was also recruited by the university to play quarterback for its football team. Rodriguez turned down Miami's baseball scholarship and never played college baseball, opting instead to sign with the Seattle Mariners after being selected in the first round of the amateur draft at the age of 17. In 2003, Rodriguez gave $3.9 million to the University of Miami to renovate its baseball stadium. The new facility will be named "Mark Light Field at Alex Rodriguez Park." Rodriguez remains an ardent University of Miami fan, and can frequently be found at Hurricane sporting events, as well as working out at the school's athletic facilities in the off-season. He received the University of Miami's Edward T. Foote II Alumnus of Distinction Award in 2007. Rodriguez had previously been named an "honorary alumnus" of the university in 2004. He is a member of the University of Miami's Board of Trustees.

Rodriguez was drafted first overall by the Seattle Mariners in 1993. He was signed by Roger Jongewaard right out of high school. In 1994, Rodriguez played for Seattle's AAA affiliate, the Calgary Cannons. In 32 games, he had 37 hits in 119 at bats for a .311 batting average. He also compiled 6 home runs and 21 runs batted in. Rodriguez rose rapidly through the Mariners organization, and made his major league debut as the starting shortstop on July 8, 1994, in Boston at 18 years, 11 months, and 11 days of age. He was just the third 18-year-old Major League shortstop since 1900. He was also the first 18-year-old Major League player in 10 years, and the youngest position player in Seattle history. His first Major League hit was a single off Sergio Valdez on July 9 at Fenway Park. Rodriguez's first Major League campaign lasted just one month; the season was cut short by the 1994 Major League Baseball strike.

Rodriguez then split most of 1995 between the Mariners and their AAA club, the Tacoma Rainiers. He connected for his first Major League home run off Kansas City's Tom Gordon on June 12. Rodriguez joined the Major League roster permanently in August, and got his first taste of postseason play, albeit in just two at-bats. Again, he was the youngest player in baseball.

The following year, Rodriguez took over as the Mariners' regular shortstop (SS) and emerged as a star player, hitting 36 HR, driving in 123 runs, and pacing the American League (AL) with a .358 batting average, the highest for an AL right-handed batter since Joe DiMaggio hit .381 in 1939 and the 3rd highest ever for a SS. At 21 years and one month, he was the 3rd youngest AL batting leader ever behind Al Kaline (20) in 1955 and Ty Cobb (20) in 1907, and the 3rd youngest player in history with 35+ homers. He was also the 1st major league SS to win a batting title since 1960, and the 1st in the AL since 1944, and at 20 years, 11 months, was the youngest SS in All-Star Game history. He also led the AL in runs (141), total bases (379), and doubles (54) and ranked among the league leaders in hits (2nd, 215), extra base hits (2nd, 91), multi-hit games (3rd, 65), slugging (4th, .631), RBI (8th, 123), and on-base percentage (8th, .414). Rodriguez posted the highest totals ever for a shortstop in runs, hits, doubles, extra base hits, and slugging, and tied most total bases, and established Seattle club records for average, runs, hits, doubles, and total bases, in a season that statistical analysts consider the best ever by an SS.

He was selected by both The Sporting News and Associated Press as the Major League Player of the Year, and came close to becoming the youngest MVP (Most Valuable Player) in baseball history, finishing second to Juan González in one of the most controversial MVP elections in recent times. He finished three points behind González (290-287), matching the 2nd closest A.L. MVP voting in history.

In 1997, Rodriguez's numbers fell somewhat, as he hit 23 HRs with 84 RBI and a .300 batting average that year. He hit for the cycle on June 5 at Detroit, becoming the 2nd Mariner to ever accomplish the feat, and at 21 years, 10 months, was 5th youngest player in history to do it. He was the fan's choice to start the All-Star Game at shortstop for the AL team, becoming the first player other than Cal Ripken to start at shortstop in 13 years. It was the first All-Star start of his career and his second All-Star Game in two years.

Rodriguez rebounded in 1998, setting the AL record for homers by a shortstop and becoming just the third member of the 40-40 Club, (with 42 HR and 46 SB) and one of just 3 shortstops in history to hit 40 home runs in a season.

He was selected as Players Choice AL Player of the Year, won his 2nd Silver Slugger Award and finished in the top 10 in the MVP voting.

In 1999, he again hit 42 HR, despite missing over 30 games with an injury and playing the second half of the season at Safeco Field, a considerably less hitter-friendly ballpark than the Kingdome.

Rodriguez entered 2000 as the cornerstone player of the Mariners franchise, which had recently dealt superstars Randy Johnson and Ken Griffey, Jr. Rodriguez put up great numbers as the team's remaining superstar; he hit 41 HR with 132 RBI and had a .316 batting average. He set a career high for walks (100) and became the only shortstop to have 100 runs, RBI, and walks in the same season. He hit well in the playoffs as well (.409 batting average and .773 slugging percentage), but Seattle lost to the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series.

He was selected as the Major League Player of the Year by Baseball America and finished 3rd in the BBWAA AL MVP voting.

Rodriguez became a free agent after the 2000 season. He eventually signed with the Texas Rangers, who had fallen to last in their division in 2000. The contract he signed was at the time the most lucrative contract in sports history: a 10-year deal worth $252 million. The deal was worth $63 million more than the second-richest baseball deal.

Rodriguez's power hitting numbers improved with his move to Texas. In his first season with the Rangers, Alex produced one of the top offensive seasons ever for a shortstop, leading the American League with 52 HR, 133 runs scored, and 393 total bases. He became the first player since 1932 with 50 homers and 200 hits in a season, just the third shortstop to ever lead his league in homers, and was just the second AL player in the last 34 seasons (beginning 1968) to lead the league in runs, homers, and total bases; his total base figure is the most ever for a major league shortstop. His 52 homers made him the sixth youngest to ever reach 50 homers and were the highest total ever by a shortstop, surpassing Ernie Banks' record of 47 in 1958, and also the most ever for an infielder other than a 1st baseman, breaking Phillies 3B Mike Schmidt's mark of 48 in 1980. It was his 5th 30-homer campaign, tying Banks for most ever by a shortstop. He also tied for the league lead in extra base hits (87) and ranked 3rd in RBI (135) and slugging (.622). He was also among the AL leaders in hits (4th, 201), average (7th, .318), and on-base percentage (8th, .399). He established Rangers club records for homers, runs, total bases, and hit by pitches, had the 2nd most extra base hits, and the 4th highest RBI total. He led the club in runs, hits, doubles (34), homers, RBI, slugging, and on-base percentage and was 2nd in walks (75), stolen bases (18), and game-winning RBI (14) while posting career highs for homers, RBI, and total bases. Rodriguez started 161 games at shortstop and one as the DH, the only major league player to start all of his team's games in 2001.

He followed that with a major league-best 57 HR, 142 RBI and 389 total bases in 2002, becoming the first player to lead the majors in all three categories since 1984. He had the 6th-most home runs in AL history, the most since Roger Maris' league record 61 in 1961, and the most ever for a shortstop for the 2nd straight year while also winning his first Gold Glove Award, awarded for outstanding defense.

His 109 home runs in 2001-02 are the most ever by an American League right-handed batter in consecutive seasons. However, the Rangers finished last in the AL Western division in both years, a showing that likely cost Rodriguez the MVP award in 2002 when he finished second to fellow shortstop Miguel Tejada, whose 103-win Oakland A's won the same division.

In 2003, his last season with Texas, Rodriguez led the American League in home runs, runs scored, and slugging percentage, and won his second consecutive Gold Glove Award. He also led the league in fewest at bats per home run (12.9) and became the youngest player to hit 300 homers.

Following five top-10 finishes in the AL Most Valuable Player voting between 1996 and 2002, Rodriguez won his first MVP trophy. A-Rod, a two-time runner up in the balloting by the Baseball Writers Association of America, joined outfielder Andre Dawson from the 1987 Chicago Cubs as the only players to play on last-place teams and win the award.

Following the 2003 season, Texas set out to move Rodriguez and his expensive contract. The Rangers initially agreed to a trade with the Boston Red Sox, but the MLBPA (Major League Baseball Players Association) vetoed the deal because it called for a voluntary reduction in salary by Rodriguez. Despite the failed deal with the Red Sox, the Rangers named him team captain during that off-season. This designation did not last long, however, as the New York Yankees had taken notice of the sudden trade availability of Rodriguez.

On February 7, 2009, Sports Illustrated reported that Alex Rodriguez tested positive for anabolic steroids, testosterone and Primobolan, in 2003 (see Criticism: Steroid use, below). Rodriguez's name appears on a government-sealed list of 104 major-league players (out of 1200 tested) who came up positive for performance-enhancing drugs. The report was compiled as part of Major League Baseball's 2003 survey to see whether mandatory random drug testing program might be necessary. At the time, there was no penalty or punishment for a positive steroid test. Rodriguez did not immediately confirm the allegations, deferring at first to the players' union. Two days after the allegations, Rodriguez admitted to steroid use from 2001 until 2003, claiming that he ceased using such substances after spring training that year.

Yankees third baseman Aaron Boone suffered a knee injury while playing a game of pickup basketball that sidelined him for the entire 2004 season, creating a hole at third base.

On February 15, 2004, the Rangers traded Rodriguez to the New York Yankees for second baseman Alfonso Soriano and a player to be named later (Joaquín Árias was sent to the Rangers on March 24). The Rangers also agreed to pay $67 million of the $179 million left on Rodriguez's contract.

Rodriguez agreed to switch positions from shortstop to third base, paving the way for the trade, because the popular Derek Jeter was already entrenched at shortstop. Rodriguez also had to switch uniform numbers, from 3 to 13; he had worn 3 his entire career, but that number is retired by the Yankees in honor of Babe Ruth.

In his first season with the Yankees, Rodriguez hit .286 with 36 home runs, 106 runs batted in, 112 runs scored and 28 stolen bases. He became one of only three players in Major League history to compile at least 35 home runs, 100 runs and 100 RBI in seven consecutive seasons, joining Hall of Famers Babe Ruth and Jimmie Foxx. The 112 runs marked the ninth straight season in which he scored at least 100 runs, the longest such streak in the Major Leagues since Hank Aaron did it in 13 straight seasons from 1955-1967, and the longest in the American League since Mickey Mantle did it also in nine straight seasons from 1953-1961. During the 2004 season, he also became the youngest player ever to reach the 350 HR mark and the third youngest to reach the 1,000 RBI plateau. He was elected to the 2004 American League All-Star Team, the eighth All-Star selection of his career and the first as a third baseman. On July 24, 2004, after being hit by a pitch, Rodriguez and Boston Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek scuffled, leading to a brawl between both teams. On defense, he had the lowest range factor among AL third basemen (2.39) in his first year at the position. He finished 14th in balloting for the AL MVP Award.

In the 2004 ALDS, Rodriguez was a dominant hitter against the Minnesota Twins, batting .421 and slugging .737 while delivering two key extra-inning hits. Following the series win, Rodriguez's first season with the Yankees culminated in a dramatic playoff series against the team he had almost ended up playing for: the Yankees' bitter rival, the Boston Red Sox. In that series (ALCS) he equaled the single-game post-season record with five runs scored in Game 3 at Boston.

One of the most controversial plays of Rodriguez's career occurred late in Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS (American League Championship Series). With one out and Derek Jeter on first base in the bottom of the eighth inning, Rodriguez hit a slow roller between the pitcher's mound and the first base line. Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo fielded the ball and ran towards Rodriguez to apply a tag. As Arroyo reached towards him, Rodriguez swatted at his glove, knocking the ball loose. As the ball rolled away, Jeter scored all the way from first as Rodriguez took second on the play, which was initially ruled an error on Arroyo. However, the umpires quickly huddled, then ruled that Rodriguez was out for interference. Jeter was sent back to first base, his run nullified.

In 2005, Rodriguez hit .321, leading the American League with 124 runs and 48 HR while driving in 130 runs. He became the first Yankee to win the American League home run title since Reggie Jackson (41) in 1980. He also became one of only two players in Major League history to compile at least 35 home runs, 100 runs and 100 RBIs in eight consecutive seasons (Jimmie Foxx accomplished the feat in nine straight seasons from 1932-1940). Rodriguez established the franchise record for most home runs in a single season by a right-handed batter (broke Joe DiMaggio's mark of 46 in 1937). His 47 HR from the third base position are a single-season American League record. Alex hit 26 home runs at Yankee Stadium in 2005, establishing the single-season club record for right-handed batters (previously held by DiMaggio in 1937 and Gary Sheffield in 2004). On June 8, at 29 years, 316 days old, he became the youngest player in MLB history to reach the 400 HR mark. 2005 also marked the tenth straight season that Rodriguez scored at least 100 runs. On defense, however, he had the lowest range factor in the league at third for the second straight season (2.62).

An offensive highlight of his season came on April 26, when Rodriguez hit 3 HR off Angels' pitcher Bartolo Colón and drove in 10 runs. The 10 RBIs were the most by a Yankee since Tony Lazzeri established the franchise and American League record with 11 on 5/24/36. Rodriguez won his second AL MVP Award in three seasons.

He became the fifth player to win an MVP award (or its precursor 'League Award') with two different teams, joining Mickey Cochrane, Jimmie Foxx, Frank Robinson and Barry Bonds. Rodriguez was also named the shortstop on the Major League Baseball Latino Legends Team in 2005.

Rodriguez was again an All-Star in 2006, and was 4th in the league in RBI (121), 5th in runs (113), 8th in home runs (35) and walks (90), and 9th in OBP (.392). He also led all AL third basemen in errors, with 24, and had the lowest fielding percentage (.937) and – for the third straight season – range factor (2.50) among them. Rodriguez's 2,000th hit, on July 21, 2006, was also his 450th home run. Six days shy of his 31st birthday, Rodriguez became the youngest player in baseball history to reach 450 home runs (surpassing Ken Griffey, Jr. by 267 days). He also became the 8th player to reach 2,000 hits before turning 31. Ty Cobb reached the mark while still 29, while Rogers Hornsby, Mel Ott, Hank Aaron, Joe Medwick, Jimmie Foxx, and Robin Yount all got their 2,000th hits at age 30. All 7 of the players are members of baseball's Hall of Fame. Rodriguez also became the 2nd player in Major League history to have at least 35 home runs, 100 runs, and 100 RBI in 9 consecutive seasons joining Jimmie Foxx. 2006 was Alex's 11th consecutive season with more than 100 runs scored, the longest such streak in American League history since Lou Gehrig did it in 13 straight seasons (1926-38). Despite this success, it was one of his lesser seasons and was harshly criticized throughout the 2006 season. He has said that 2006 was his most difficult season as a professional. Prior to the season Rodriguez opted to play for team USA in the World Baseball Classic.

With the 2007 season came a new attitude. Rodriguez reported to camp lighter, having reduced his body fat from 16% the year before to 9%. Alex made light of this fact during a Late Night with David Letterman sketch filmed during Spring Training, which featured a shirtless A-Rod being rubbed down with suntan lotion. He revealed to the press that he and Derek Jeter were no longer close friends. Rodriguez also reduced his high leg kick at the plate, increasing his bat speed, making him less-apt to strike out and a more dangerous hitter.

In the Yankees' fourth game of the season, Rodriguez hit two home runs against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium, including his 14th-career grand slam to end the game. The walk-off grand slam was the third of his career, tying the major league mark for game-ending grand slams shared by Vern Stephens and Cy Williams. Rodriguez also began the season by becoming the ninth major leaguer—and first Yankee—to hit six home runs in the first seven games of the season. Rodriguez also became the first Yankee to hit seven home runs in the first ten games of the season.

On April 19, the Yankees came from behind to defeat the Cleveland Indians 8-6—with Rodriguez hitting a walk-off home run. WCBS Yankees radio broadcaster noted that Rodriguez had a better frame of mind, and the fans were beginning to accept him more after his two walk-off home runs. On April 23, Rodriguez became the first player in major league history to hit 14 home runs in a span of 18 games, and also tied the MLB record for most home runs in April. His total of 34 RBIs in April was 1 short of Juan González' AL and MLB record. On April 24, Rodriguez's 23-game hitting streak came to an end. In a game against the Toronto Blue Jays on May 30, Rodriguez sparked controversy when he shouted during a routine play and the infielder let the pop fly drop, costing the Blue Jays four runs. The Yankees went on to win the game, 10–5.

On June 12, Rodriguez hit a home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks that hit off the front of the upper deck in left field. The home run was A-Rod's 25th of the season in only 63 games. That beat out his mark of the 2006 season, in which it took Rodriguez 113 games to reach 25.

On July 12, Rodriguez hit his 150th career home run in a Yankees uniform. This made him the first player in major league history to ever hit 150 home runs for three different teams. He is also just the third player to hit at least 100 home runs for three teams; Reggie Jackson and Darrell Evans are the other two.

On August 4, Rodriguez hit his 500th career home run against pitcher Kyle Davies of the Kansas City Royals. This made Alex the youngest player ever to reach 500 homers (32 years, 8 days). He is only the second Yankee to hit number 500 at home; Mickey Mantle on May 14, 1967 against Stu Miller was the other.

On September 5, for the first time in his career, Rodriguez hit two home runs in one inning against the Seattle Mariners. On September 23, New York Magazine reported that Rodriguez was involved in a deal for a new contract with the Chicago Cubs that would include part ownership of the team. His agent, however, reported to ESPN that this was untrue.

On September 25, Rodriguez became the fifth player ever in major league history to record a 50-home run, 150-RBI season when he hit a grand slam. Derek Jeter was one of the first of his teammates to congratulate him.

In 2007, Rodriguez became the first player in major league history to have at least 35 home runs, 100 runs, and 100 RBI in 10 consecutive seasons, surpassing Jimmie Foxx (9 consecutive seasons).

He led the AL in home runs (54), RBIs (156), slugging percentage (.645), OPS (1.067), total bases (376), and times on base (299), and was 2nd in hit by pitch (21), extra base hits (85), and at bats per home run (10.8), 4th in on base percentage (.422) and sacrifice flies (9), 7th in walks (95) and plate appearances (708), 8th in intentional walks (11), and 9th in games (158).

On October 24, Rodriguez won the Players Choice Award for Outstanding AL Player. On October 27, he won the Players Choice Award for Player of the Year. He also won the 2007 sliver slugger award for his position.

On November 19, 2007, Rodriguez was named the AL MVP for the third time in his career, receiving 26 first-place votes out of a possible 28.

The 2007 season marked the last year of Rodriguez's 10-year, $252 million contract before he opted out, effectively making him a free agent again. Rodriguez had repeatedly stated during the 2007 season that he would like to remain a Yankee for the rest of his career. On October 28, 2007, Rodriguez's agent, Scott Boras, announced that he would not renew his contract with the Yankees citing that he "was unsure of the future composition" of the team. He received a slew of criticism from fans and writers alike not only for opting out, but also for not meeting with Yankee management before he did. He was further criticized for the timing of his announcement, during the eighth inning of Game Four of the World Series, as the Boston Red Sox were wrapping up their victory over the Colorado Rockies. After realizing that the situation was not handled very well, Rodriguez contacted the New York Yankees ownership directly, bypassing Boras. Subsequently, Rodriguez issued a statement on his website, saying that he wished to stay with the Yankees. On November 15, 2007, the New York Yankees and Rodriguez agreed on the "basic framework" of a 10-year, $275 million contract. Rodriguez stands to make millions more if he breaks the all-time home run record as a Yankee. The contract was finalized on December 13.

On September 3, in a game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Rodriguez hit his 549th home run. The opposing manager objected that the ball was foul, and for the first time in MLB history, instant replay (a process officially introduced a few days earlier) was used to review the play and uphold the umpires' ruling. He was one of only 4 batters in the AL to have at least 18 home runs and 18 stolen bases in both 2007 and 2008, along with Torii Hunter, Ian Kinsler, and Grady Sizemore.

Rodriguez will represent the Dominican Republic in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. On March 5, it was announced that Rodriguez would miss the WBC and be out until May due to a cyst on his hip. It was later announced that Rodriguez has torn cartilage in the hip, and that when to do the surgery was under discussion.

Rodriguez has received the nickname The Cooler among players because of the perceived tendency for teams to turn cold when he joins them and hot when he leaves and because of his negative influence on team chemistry.

Due to the unsuccessful nature of the Yankees 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 postseasons, along with Rodriguez's sub .200 batting average in the postseasons of 2005 and 2006, Rodriguez has drawn much criticism in the New York area. Because of the Yankees' successful history, he is often compared unfavorably to other Yankees greats who have performed exceptionally well in the postseason, such as Reggie Jackson.

While Rodriguez won the AL MVP award in 2005 and played a pivotal role in the Yankees defeat of the Minnesota Twins in the 2004 ALDS, his recent postseason struggles have left fans frustrated. Rodriguez performed well in the earlier half of the 2004 postseason, hitting .320 with 3 home runs and 5 doubles in 50 at bats, but as was the case with the team in general, he ceased to pose an offensive threat during the final four games of the ALCS against the Boston Red Sox. The following postseason, Rodriguez went 2-for-15 in five games, went 1-for-14 against the Detroit Tigers in the 2006 postseason, and most recently, 4-for-15 against the Cleveland Indians in the 2007 postseason with six strikeouts. Through 2006, Rodriguez was a paltry 4-for-41 (.098 batting average) with no RBI in his last 12 postseason games.

Much of the criticism regarding Rodriguez is focused upon his alleged inability to produce hits in clutch situations. However, during the 2003-05 regular seasons, Rodriguez posted a .371 batting average with the bases loaded and maintained an on base percentage of .422. In 2006, his numbers improved to .474 and .500 respectively. In 2007, through July 14 he hit .444 and .455, respectively. Additionally, Rodriguez's other batting lines during this period included a .432 average with a runner on third (.333 in 2006), .381 with a runner in scoring position (.302 in 2006), and .392 with a runner in scoring position and 2 outs (.313 in 2006; .333 in 2007 through July 14).

According to Yankee manager Joe Torre's 2009 book, The Yankee Years, Rodriguez earned the nickname "A-Fraud" from teammates and particularly from clubhouse attendants who were said to resent his demands. "It was in front of him," Torre later said of the nickname. “A lot of that stuff that went on in the clubhouse was more tongue-in-cheek, fun type stuff,” he explained.

In July 2007, former outfielder and steroid-user José Canseco said that he was planning to publish another book about Major League Baseball, to follow his 2005 bestseller Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big. Canseco said his new book would have "other stuff" on Rodriguez, and called him a hypocrite. At the time, Rodriguez denied accusations of steroid use. In a 2007 interview with Katie Couric, Rodriguez flatly denied ever having used performance-enhancing drugs.

In February 2009, Selena Roberts and David Epstein of Sports Illustrated reported that Rodriguez had tested positive for two anabolic steroids, testosterone and Primobolan, during his 2003 season playing for the Texas Rangers, the same season in which he captured his first American League Most Valuable Player award, broke 300 career home runs (hitting 47 that year), and earned one of his ten Silver Slugger Awards. The information had been part of a government-sealed report detailing 104 major league players (out of 1200 players tested) who tested positive for performance enhancers during a 2003 drug survey. Approved by the players themselves with the promise of anonymity, the survey was conducted by Major League Baseball to see whether a mandatory drug testing program might be necessary. At the time, as the result of a collectively-bargained union agreement, there was no penalty or punishment for a positive test. Because more than 5% of the samples taken from players in 2003 came back positive, mandatory testing of major league baseball players began in 2004, with penalties for violations.

In an interview with ESPN after the report came out, citing "an enormous amount of pressure to perform," Rodriguez admitted to using banned substances from 2001 to 2003. "All my years in New York have been clean,” he added, saying he has not used banned substances since last taking them following a spring training injury in 2003 while playing for the Rangers. "Back then, was a different culture," Rodriguez said. "It was very loose. I was young, I was stupid, I was naïve. And I wanted to prove to everyone that I was worth being one of the greatest players of all time. I did take a banned substance. And for that, I am very sorry and deeply regretful." Rodriguez said he could not be sure of the name(s) of the substance(s) he had used.

Rodriguez said he was never told that he was among the 104 players who tested positive, only that a tip came in August 2004 from Gene Orza of the MLBPA that he "may or may not have" failed his 2003 test. Orza is accused by three (unnamed) MLB players of tipping Rodriguez to an upcoming drug test in September 2004. Orza and the MLBPA have denied the allegations.

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig is currently in the process of deciding whether or not to punish Alex Rodriguez for his admitted steroid use, citing the illegality of the situation, among other things. Additionally, his admission to three years of steroid use could be damaging to his image and legacy.

Later in the month, Rodriguez called a press conference in Tampa, Florida, and in the presence of many supportive Yankee teammates, answered reporters' questions about his 2001-2003 steroid use. Rodriguez said he and a cousin (whom he refused to name) bought an unidentified drug over-the-counter in the Dominican Republic, where it is “known on the streets as boli or bollee.” At Rodriguez's instruction, the cousin transported the drug into the United States. For six months of the year, Rodriguez injected himself twice monthly with "boli" (a drug name unfamiliar to experts and perhaps a slang term for Primobolan or Dianabol, although the latter steroid is taken orally). Rodriguez said he did not know whether he was using the drug properly or whether it was safe. Although he "certainly felt more energy," Rodriguez said it would be "hard to say" whether it gave him a competitive edge.

Rodriguez, who reportedly employs a "cadre of image consultants," said he would become a spokesperson for the Taylor Hooton Foundation, which educates young people about the dangers of steroid use.

A few days later, the cousin who provided Rodriguez with the steroids was identified as Yuri Sucart, a resident of Miami, Florida. Sucart drove Rodriguez home from the first preseason game after Rodriguez's steroid use admission on February 24, 2009; Yankees officials have since informed Rodriguez that Sucart is not permitted at any team gathering.

Rodriguez grew up with two half-siblings, Joe and Suzy, who were born in the Dominican Republic and are children from his mother's first marriage. Rodriguez also has a half-brother, Victor M. Rodriguez, who was born to Alex's father Victor Sr. and his then-wife Pouppe Martinez in 1960. The couple divorced a year later, and Victor Jr. was raised by his mother. Victor Jr., who is an officer in the United States Air Force, fell out of touch with Alex for a period of 23 years, until they met at a Texas Rangers game in 2003. Alex currently resides in Miami, Florida during the baseball offseason.

He married Cynthia Scurtis, a psychology graduate, on November 2, 2002. The couple's first child, Natasha Alexander, was born on November 18, 2004. On April 21, 2008, Cynthia gave birth to their second child, Ella Alexander, in Miami, Florida.

On May 27, 2007, Rodriguez was spotted at a Toronto strip club with a blonde woman, later identified as Joslyn Noel Morse, an exotic dancer with Scores Las Vegas who was featured in Playboy's 2001 magazine "Playboy's Casting Calls." The New York Post ran a picture on May 30, 2007.

On July 2, 2008, the New York Daily News reported that Rodriguez and his wife had separated, after having "problems" for the past three months, since the birth of their second daughter. This comes together with rumors published in Us Weekly magazine, about a possible affair between Rodriguez and pop singer Madonna, claims Madonna later denied. The implications for A-Rod's brand were discussed on ABC News Now with brand expert John Tantillo.

ESPN reported that Cynthia Rodriguez filed for divorce on July 7, 2008, citing "emotional abandonment" and marital infidelity by her husband. Even though Mrs. Rodriguez signed a prenuptial agreement, the validity of any such agreement is subject to the normal challenges of a contract action, in addition to any limitation to private contracting imposed by New York State family law. She sought alimony, distribution of assets, child support including private school tuition, life and health insurance, and retention of the couple's $12-million marital home in Coral Gables, Florida.

Rodriguez owns a Mercedes-Benz dealership in League City, Texas.

Rodriguez is featured in a commercial for Guitar Hero World Tour, where he plays the guitar along with athletes Tony Hawk on drums, Kobe Bryant on vocals, and Michael Phelps on guitar. The commercial is a spoof of the scene from Risky Business where Tom Cruise is dancing to "Old Time Rock and Roll".

Roll over stat abbreviations for definitions. Stats through September 28, 2008.

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Source : Wikipedia