Professional athletes often financially support their alma maters through facility renovations or athletic scholarships. Given that Alex Rodriguez made more than $400 million in his MLB career, he has more than enough money to donate. The thing is, Rodriguez didn’t go to college. But this hasn’t stopped him from donating millions to his favorite university, the University of Miami, which he almost attended.
Alex Rodriguez shines in the majors
Rodriguez’s accomplishments in the majors are well-known. He hit .295 in 22 seasons with 696 home runs and 2,086 RBI — which are fourth and third, respectively, on MLB’s all-time lists. A.Rod was also able to steal some bases, with 329 for his career, including 46 in 1998.
The athlete was the American League MVP three times, and he finished in the top three in voting three other times in his career. Rodriguez surpassed 50 homers three times in his career, including a career-high 57 dingers in 2002. He was intentionally walked 97 times in his career, showing that pitchers were sometimes afraid to throw to him.
Rodriguez was also able to draw walks on his own, with more than 1,300. He won the American League batting title in 1996, hitting for a career-best .358 in 1996. A.Rod’s career WAR is 117.5, which currently places him 16th in MLB history. He has one World Series ring, as part of the 2009 Yankees team that won the title.
The 14-time All-Star won 10 Silver Sluggers and two Gold Gloves. And when he went to the Yankees, he showed that he was unselfish by moving from his familiar position of shortstop to third base to allow incumbent Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter to remain at the position.
A.Rod helps the University of Miami improve its baseball facilities
Rodriguez was born in New York but grew up in Miami after his family moved there when he was 8 and became a fan of the University of Miami and its baseball team. According to ESPN, he committed to attending the college after high school, but he ultimately didn’t enroll.
Just hours before Miami’s fall classes started in August 1993, A.Rod signed his first professional contract with the Mariners. The MLB team managed to lure him away from the Hurricanes to the majors with a $1.3 million contract a couple of months after drafting the then-shortstop.
Even though Rodriguez never attended Miami, he still has a soft spot for the school. In 2003, he gave nearly $4 million to Miami — the biggest ever given to the school’s baseball team. This helped Miami build a new clubhouse, weight room, training room, and other facilities. The gift A.Rod gave the university led to the school renaming its baseball field as Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.
Other contributions Alex Rodriguez has made to the college
That’s not the only money Rodriguez has given to the university. In 2017, his A.Rod Corp donated $500,000 to the University of Miami School of Business Administration. A.Rod has also created a scholarship program for local Boys and Girls Club alumni to attend the University of Miami.
Even though Rodriguez ended up not attending the University of Miami, the school still recognizes him as an alumnus — an honorary one, at least. In 2004, the university named A.Rod as an honorary alumnus, and in 2007 he received another honor from the school.
That year, Miami gave A.Rod the Edward T. Foote II Alumnus of Distinction Award, which is given annually to an honorary alumnus. Rodriguez also serves as a National Member on the university’s Board of Trustees.