In 100 games at Miami's Westminster Christian Academy, Alex Rodriguez batted .419 and stole 90 bases. After leading Westminster to a national championship in his junior year, he signed a letter of intent to play baseball at the University of Miami (though he never actually enrolled).
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The first overall pick in the 1993 draft, Rodriguez made his major league debut in Boston on July 8, 1994 at 18 years, 11 months, and 11 days of age. He picked up his first big league hit the next day -- a single off Sergio Valdez.
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Rodriguez split 1995 between Seattle and the franchise's AAA club -- the Tacoma Rainiers. He hit his first major league home run on June 12 against Kansas City's Tom Gordon. He arrived in the big leagues for good in August, just in time for Seattle's postseason run.
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In his first full major league season, Rodriguez hit 36 home runs, picked up 123 RBIs and 141 runs and led the AL in hitting with a .358 mark. It was the highest batting average by an AL right-hander since Joe DiMaggio batted .381 in 1939. Rodriguez finished just three points behind Juan Gonzalez in MVP voting in one of the closest races in history.
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Rodriguez's numbers dipped in 1997, but he still batted .300 with 23 home runs and 84 RBIs. Most impressively, he was voted as the AL's starting shortstop in the All-Star Game, bumping Cal Ripken from that spot for the first time in 13 seasons.
6 of 18Walter Iooss Jr./SI
A-Rod bounced back in 1998, setting the AL record for home runs by a shortstop (42) and becoming just the third member of the 40-40 club, also stealing 46 bases.
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Despite missing more than 30 games with an injury, Rodriguez slugged 42 home runs for the second consecutive season in 1999. He also managed to score 110 runs and drive in 111.
8 of 18V.J. Lovero/SI
With Randy Johnson and Ken Griffey Jr. both gone from Seattle, Rodriguez carried the load in 2000, leading the Mariners to the ALCS in his final season with the club. He batted .316, hit 41 home runs, and became the first shortstop ever to drive in 100 runs, score 100 runs and draw 100 walks in a season.
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Rodriguez left the Mariners after the 2000 season, and signed the richest contract in sports history -- a 10-year, $252 million deal with the Rangers. In his first season in Arlington, he led the AL in home runs (52), runs (133), and total bases (393).
10 of 18Chuck Solomon/SI
A-Rod followed up those gaudy numbers with a major league-leading 57 home runs and 142 RBIs in 2002. The 57 long balls were the most by an AL player since Roger Maris' 61 in 1961. Additionally, Rodriguez added to his haul, by earning his first Gold Glove. For the second straight year, however, the Rangers finished last in the AL West.
11 of 18Heinz Kluetmeier/SI
The Rangers finished in the cellar again, but Rodriguez earned his first AL MVP in 2003, leading the American League in home runs, runs scored, and slugging percentage, in addition to winning his second Gold Glove Award. This was also the year Rodriguez tested positive for steroids, according to Sports Illustrated.
12 of 18John Iacono/SI
On Feb. 15, 2004, the Rangers traded Rodriguez to the Yankees for Alfonso Soriano and Joaquin Arias. In his first season in the Bronx (and at third base), Rodriguez batted .286 with 36 home runs, 106 RBIs, 112 runs scored and 28 stolen bases. He also batted .421 in the ALDS against the Twins.
13 of 18John W. McDonough/SI
In 2005, Rodriguez earned his second AL MVP Award, batting .321, leading the league with 124 runs and 48 HR while driving in 130. A-Rod also became the youngest player to reach the 400-homer plateau, and was the first Yankee to win an MVP since Don Mattingly won it in 1985.
14 of 18Chuck Solomon/SI
Rodriguez reached more milestones in 2006, notching both his 2,000th hit and his 450th home run. He finished the season with 121 RBIs, 113 runs and 35 home runs, but he also led all AL third basemen with 24 errors.
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Rodriguez got off to a torrid start in 2007, belting six home runs in his first seven games (and 14 in his first 18 contests). For the year, he led the AL in home runs (54), RBIs (156), slugging percentage (.645), OPS (1.067), and picked up 26 of 28 first place votes en route to winning his third MVP Award.
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After controversy concerning an opt-out clause sprung up during the World Series, Rodriguez agreed to an extension with the Yankees, keeping him in the Bronx until age 42. Despite missing more than 20 games with calf injuries, Rodriguez still hit 35 home runs and picked up 103 RBIs.
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In February 2009, Sports Illustrated reported that Rodriguez had failed a drug test when still a member of the Texas Rangers. Rodriguez admitted using steroids from 2001-03 but said he had never used a banned substance before or after.
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After missing the first month of the season with a hip injury, Rodriguez returned and finished with 30 home runs and 100 RBIs, his 12th straight season reaching those milestones. He was even better in the postseason, delivering key hits in all three rounds. In 15 postseason games, he batted .365 with six home runs and a Yankees franchise record 18 RBIs as the Yankees won their 27th world championship.
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