Alex Rodriguez was once the highest-paid player in American sports thanks to his golden bat. In a world dominated by controversial superstars like Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds, Rodriguez was viewed by many as the honorable slugger who got things done the right way. His eventual downfall changed things forever, but one place where Rodriguez kept his A-game involved his finances.
Alex Rodriguez’s MLB career
Rodriguez spent 22 years in Major League Baseball, details Baseball-Reference. For most of his career, he was one of the best MLB players. He started with the Seattle Mariners, where he dipped his toes into the league as a teenager in 17 games. The following year, he spent a little more time with Ken Griffey Jr. and company with 48 games.
The 1996 season was Rodriguez’s coming out party, however. In his first year as a full-time member of the Mariners, Rodriguez became one of the brightest young stars in baseball. For the next five years, he took lessons from his Hall of Fame teammate Griffey and became one of the biggest stars in the league.
By 2000, the Golden Glove shortstop was one of the biggest free agents on the market. With the Mariners unwilling to pay top dollar for his service, and he moved to Texas. Rodriguez signed a 10-year deal worth over $275 million with the Texas Rangers.
While he packed his bags three years later, his three-year stint in Texas may have been the best of his career. During the 2002 season, Rodriguez hit 57 home runs and batted in 142 runners. With the Rangers looking to retool, however, they traded him to New York.
In New York, Rodriguez may have been the best player on the team. But Derek Jeter was the face of the franchise, and the unforgiving fans expected a lot. Rodriguez performed nearly as well as he did in Texas, but the franchise wanted more. In 2008, however, everything changed when Rodriguez was implicated in a steroid scandal that tore his reputation to shreds.
A different scandal cost him his 2014 season. Rodriguez won a World Series in 2009, but Rodriguez’s role was growing smaller and smaller. By the time he retired in 2016, he was more of a nuisance than a star. However, despite the tumultuous career he played, Rodriguez made one correct decision.
Rodriguez plays it safe
Professional athletes have a terrible reputation as financially irresponsible individuals. From the lower-end players who do not make headlines to some of the world’s biggest superstars of their sports, several players have faced financial ruin after forgetting that their careers were finite, but bills continued after their retirement.
Despite earning almost a half-billion dollars, Rodriguez wanted to make sure his future was as lucrative as his past. This self-proclaimed fear was what drove him. He began his investment career with A-Rod Corp. Investor.
From investments in real estate to several products, Rodriguez built an investment empire that is bringing in the big bucks to this day. Now, his company employs more than 500 like-minded people who want to make some money while changing the world. Rodriguez wants this to be a part of his legacy with everything he did on a baseball diamond.
“When people think about my career, they think about the championships, the RBIs, the home runs, but what they don’t realize is that I’m fifth all-time in striking out, so that means I have a Ph.D. in failing,” Rodriguez, told Hispanic Network Magazine. “But I also have a master’s in getting back up, and that’s what America is all about: getting back up, not getting defined by your mistakes. That’s what I try to push and encourage.”
Rodriguez treats every investment as an opportunity for growth and change, according to Forbes. He meticulously vets every opportunity to ensure that it is suitable for him and his co-investors. Now, he is looking bigger. He recently made headlines thanks to his failed attempt at buying the Mets. While that fell through, it showed that Rodriguez is looking past the investments that make him millions and looking even bigger.
Time will tell if that dream becomes reality, but aside from the scandals and the missteps on the field, Rodriguez has a lot to teach the next generation about financial responsibility.