Rodriguez, Alex

Rodriguez, Alex (Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez) rōdrēˈgəs [key], 1975–, American baseball player, b. New York City. Drafted (1993) out of high school by the Seattle Mariners as the first pick overall, he debuted in the majors the following year but played partial seasons then and in 1995. In the major leagues full-time from 1996, “A-Rod,” a superb shortstop and right-handed hitter, led the American League in batting average (.358) that year. He began averaging more than 40 home runs a year in 1998, and subsequently became the youngest player to hit 300, 400, 500, and 600 homers (in 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2010). In Dec., 2000, he left the Mariners, signing what was then the richest-ever contract in professional sports with the Texas Rangers, with whom he was the AL's home-run leader in 2001–3. Named the AL's Most Valuable Player in 2003, he won a trade to the New York Yankees, and moved to third base defensively in 2004. Rodriguez was again league MVP in 2005 and 2007, when he also led the league in home runs. His extraordinary career was tarnished in 2009 when, after years of rumor and denial, he admitted to using steroids during the 2001–3 seasons; it also was revealed that in 2003 he had tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. Because of the drug use, he was suspended for the entire 2014 season. He subsequently passed (2015) the 2,000 mark for runs batted in and the 3,000 mark for hits. He was release by the Yankees in 2016.

See biography by S. Roberts (2009).

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