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A-Rod donates $3.9 million to Miami Hurricanes

Old 10-10-02, 06:24 PM
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A-Rod donates $3.9 million to Miami Hurricanes

http://sports.iwon.com/news/10102002/v2217.html

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) - Alex Rodriguez grew up near the University of Miami campus, spending nearly every weekend at Mark Light Stadium where the Hurricanes played.

He shagged balls, took batting practice and worked as a batboy - constantly picturing his name on the scoreboard.

Now it will be there forever.

Rodriguez, an All-Star shortstop with the Texas Rangers, donated $3.9 million to Miami's baseball program Thursday. The gift, paid in annual installments over six years, will be used to renovate the stadium - which will then be called Alex Rodriguez Park.

"It's something I feel is a responsibility for me," he said. "The city of Miami has done so much for me in my childhood that it makes me feel really great coming back and helping out. This was my Yankee Stadium, my Candlestick Park, my Dodger Stadium."


The 27-year-old Rodriguez, who signed a record $252 million, 10-year contract in December 2000, also vowed to return to the university and get a degree. Having already taken a few classes at a community college, he hopes to graduate by age 35.

"It's one of my greatest goals, as important as being a major league baseball player," said Rodriguez, who hit .300 with 57 home runs and 142 RBIs this season and is a leading contender for the AL MVP. "A degree is something that is a great personal challenge of mine. I promised it to my mother.

"And just because I'm a major league baseball player, I'm not going to let that get in the way of going to college and getting my degree."

Rodriguez's gift also will be used to fund an annual scholarship to Miami for a member of the Boys & Girls Club of America.

Rodriguez signed with Miami out of nearby Westminster Christian High and came close to playing for the Hurricanes - about 50 feet to be exact.

He was on campus, walking to his first class in fall 1993, when a Seattle Mariners scout stopped him just before he got to the door. The Mariners had drafted Rodriguez with the No. 1 overall pick in the June draft and offered him a $1 million contract.

But his mother turned down the deal.

"I didn't have lunch money, but she wanted $1.5 million," A-Rod said.

Had Rodriguez gone to class, he would have been locked into three years at the university and been eligible for the 1996 draft. The scout persuaded Rodriguez to skip school, and by 2 a.m., the sides agreed on a $1.35 million contract.

"Had he come here I would have made him a good shortstop," Hurricanes coach Jim Morris said jokingly.

"For us, there's not a more perfect individual to have your park named after. He's the hardest-working player I've ever been around, he's as classy as anybody I've ever been around, and he loves the program and wants to be involved. That a perfect combination."
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Old 10-10-02, 06:28 PM
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3.9 million dollars? That leaves him with... 248.1 million dollars. Now that's generosity.
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Old 10-10-02, 06:34 PM
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I don't care how much money he has, 3.9 mil is a generous donation.
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Old 10-10-02, 06:34 PM
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still.. a pretty impressive donation for a school he never even attended

although, I bet it just got about 3.9 million times easier for him to accomplish his goal of having a college degree by age 35
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Old 10-10-02, 06:45 PM
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that a great gesture...

of course, that's what? half his gatorade endorsement??
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Old 10-10-02, 07:13 PM
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Originally posted by LurkerDan
I don't care how much money he has, 3.9 mil is a generous donation.
ditto
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Old 10-10-02, 09:01 PM
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I didn't even know he was from the Miami area.

Nice donation.

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Old 10-10-02, 09:04 PM
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Of course 3.9 mill is nothing compared to his salary but its still a lot of money and he didn't HAVE to give them anything anyway.
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Old 10-10-02, 09:06 PM
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of course.. nothing is saying that arod really likes to take care of where he is from...

when he left seattle.. didnt he try to convince boeing to pack up and move to texas.. which would have cost thousands of people their jobs in seattle?
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Old 10-10-02, 10:51 PM
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No, no, no.. this is how it happened. Alex donated a couch to one of the dorms at the school. When they looked between and under the cushions, they counted up $3.9 million in bills and coins.
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Old 10-10-02, 10:52 PM
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Boeing was in the process of moving anyway and Texas was on there short list. The people that did lose there jobs, were going to lose them anyway.
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Old 10-10-02, 10:56 PM
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Originally posted by clemente
Boeing was in the process of moving anyway and Texas was on there short list. The people that did lose there jobs, were going to lose them anyway.
^ Yup, what he said. I think Boeing ended up in Denver, right?

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Old 10-10-02, 11:47 PM
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Now I respect him even less.


I hate Miami.
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Old 10-11-02, 07:32 AM
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Both A-Rod (and apparently Doug Min ... min ... oh, I can't spell it. You know, that guy on the Twins) played on the same HS team (Westminster Christian HS) in Miami in the early 90s. School's about 15 minutes from where my parents live (and where I used to live).

As for Mark Light Stad ... er... Alex Rodriguez Park ... it was in need of a good renovation. That place is nearly falling apart. So to A-Rod.
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Old 10-11-02, 07:36 AM
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This is the Miami Herald article on it ... didn't know he was this close to actually going to UM rather than signing with Seattle...

Alex Rodríguez used to sneak into the University of Miami baseball stadium. Now, he has put his name on it.

Rodríguez, the superstar shortstop for the Texas Rangers who honed his home run swing as a youngster in UM's batting cage, formally announced a $3.9 million gift to the school Thursday in a ceremony near the pitcher's mound.

''This is my Yankee Stadium, my Candlestick Park, my Dodger Stadium,'' said Rodríguez, 27, who grew up in Miami. ``I used to jump the fence. They had the high trees over there. I fell a few times, but I still got in. I remember being sad on Sundays when the sun went down because I had to wait another week to see the Hurricanes play.''

Most of the donation will be used toward a $6 million to $8 million renovation of the UM baseball stadium, which will be named Mark Light Field at Alex Rodríguez Park. Rodríguez also created an annual scholarship for a member of the Boys and Girls Club of America.

A seven-time All-Star who signed the most lucrative contract in sports when the Rangers agreed to pay him $252 million for 10 years, Rodríguez came within four footsteps of matriculating at UM. He said he still intends to get his degree.

In 1993, the Westminster Christian graduate accepted a baseball scholarship from UM. But, after negotiations came down to the wire, he signed with the Seattle Mariners, who picked him No. 1 in the draft.

'The only time I've cried is when Alex said to me, `Coach, I promised I was going to come here to play baseball, but I've got to take care of my mother. And they just offered me $18,000,' '' former UM baseball coach Ron Fraser said.

Rodríguez smiled and corrected Fraser's statement. It was actually a matter of several hundred thousand dollars, not $18,000. The Mariners weren't budging, so Rodríguez got ready to become a college student.

''On the first day of school, the offer was $1 million, but my mom wanted $1.5 million,'' Rodríguez said. 'I said, `Mom, are you sure?' She said, `Son, go to class.'

'I'm walking onto campus, I have my bookbag, I'm taking the most deliberate walk you've ever seen. Four steps before entering the classroom a Seattle scout says, `Stop.' Sure enough, by 2 a.m. I'd signed for $1.35 million.''

The college education was put on hold. But UM president Donna Shalala surprised Rodríguez on Thursday when she presented him with his original application and invited him to enroll again at any time.

''His message is extraordinary: Remember where you came from, give back to your community, pursue the highest standards of excellence,'' Shalala said.

Rodríguez said he would like to get his bachelor's degree by age 35, and his fiancée, Cynthia Scurtis, is hoping to pursue a doctorate.

Rodríguez wasn't even born when the original Mark Light Field was dedicated in 1973 with money from Miami businessman George Light and his wife, Ethel, who wanted the place named after their late son Mark, who had muscular dystrophy and died at a young age.

''We had the first stadium in college baseball, and all the other teams wanted a stadium like Mark Light,'' Fraser recalled. ``We were the best for a long time. We're not anymore.''

UM athletic director Paul Dee said he is contemplating several renovation concepts that would maintain the spectator capacity of 5,500.

Rodríguez, who has also donated money for renovations at the Hank Kline Boys and Girls Club on Southwest 27th Avenue, spent most of his after-school time at the club and rode the bus to UM on the weekends while his mother worked to support her family.

''My mother knew if I wasn't at the club I was here,'' Rodríguez said. ``. . .I feel a responsibility to my community.''

Fraser said Rodríguez was always hanging around, retrieving bats and balls and observing his heroes.

''We'd let him in the cage -- I was afraid he'd get killed. I was always running after him,'' Fraser said. ``What other way could it end except to have Alex's name on it?''
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Old 10-11-02, 10:24 AM
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What's the salary cap for NCAA football these days? I'm just wondering how many seasons this dough will be good for ...
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Old 10-11-02, 11:52 AM
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The generosity takes a hit, in my mind, when the stadium is going to be named after him.
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Old 10-11-02, 12:01 PM
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Originally posted by cdollaz
The generosity takes a hit, in my mind, when the stadium is going to be named after him.
how often does anyone ever make a donation, without something being named after them? ever?

not sure if he asked or not.. but even if he didnt ask.. dont you think they would have named it after him out of appreciation anyways?
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Old 10-11-02, 12:13 PM
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That was awfully nice of him, he must be a really special guy. How fortunate for U of Miami.

Seriously, I don't care how rich a person is, any kind of donation is a nice thing, especially one with seven figures.


I think Boeing moved to the Windy City.
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Old 10-11-02, 12:55 PM
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Originally posted by twikoff
how often does anyone ever make a donation, without something being named after them? ever?

not sure if he asked or not.. but even if he didnt ask.. dont you think they would have named it after him out of appreciation anyways?
Or A-Rod could insist that it be named after someone that has something to do with the history of Miami sports.
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Old 10-11-02, 12:59 PM
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Originally posted by cdollaz
Or A-Rod could insist that it be named after someone that has something to do with the history of Miami sports.
thats a nice gesture.. but do you think anyone would ever actually do that?
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Old 10-11-02, 01:19 PM
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Originally posted by twikoff
thats a nice gesture.. but do you think anyone would ever actually do that?
Sure, why not. I personally would be kinda embarrassed if they named a building after me, especially if I had nothing to do with the history of the building or stadium.
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Old 10-11-02, 01:40 PM
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Are people not allowed to have the slightest bit of an ego now?
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Old 10-11-02, 01:48 PM
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Hurricanes' freshman 1: Hey, wanna go to the baseball game?
Hurricanes' freshman 2: I guess, I got nothing but History this afternoon. Where is the ballpark?
Hurricanes' freshman 1: Oh, you don't know where Alex Rodriguez stadium is?
Hurricanes' freshman 2: THE Alex Rodriguez????
Hurricanes' freshman 1: Yep!
Hurricanes' freshman 2: Wow! When did he go here?
Hurricanes' freshman 1: Oh, he didn't.
Hurricanes' freshman 2:
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Old 10-11-02, 01:57 PM
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one thing missing in your logic y2k

have you ever heard a miami student speak in full sentences??
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