Alexander Emmanuel "Alex" Rodriguez (nicknamed A-Rod) (born July 27, 1975) is an American Major League Baseball third baseman for the New York Yankees. 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, and the youngest to hit 600, besting Babe Ruth's record by over a year. Rodriguez has fourteen 100-RBI seasons in his career, more than any player in history. On September 24, 2010, Rodriguez hit two home runs, surpassing Sammy Sosa's mark of 609 HRs, and became the all-time leader in home runs by a player of Hispanic descent.
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 said he would become a spokesperson for the Taylor Hooton Foundation, which educates young people about the dangers of steroid use. He has since spoken at schools about the dangers of steroids.