Alex Rodriguez owes a lot to the Boys & Girls Club.
The 41-year-old former baseball star attended the unveiling of the newly refurbished baseball field at the Miami Boys & Girls Club center in Kendall, Florida, on Tuesday. Rodriguez, who attended a Boys & Girls Club when he was younger, opened up about how the youth organization kept him "away from the streets" and how it changed his life for the better.
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"It was an incredible tool for me,” Rodriguez told press at the event. "It kept me away from the streets, it kept me focused. Not only did it give me a safe place to go do homework after school, but it also taught me a high level of competition at a very early age."
Rodriguez shared that celebrating the new field was "a dream day" for him, noting that "the Boys & Girls Club really shifted – perhaps saved – my life,” per People.
"My mother worked two jobs, she was a secretary in the morning and served tables at night – at a place called Latin America right down the street," he continued. "And I remember every day getting dropped off at the Boys & Girls Club, doing my homework for about two or three hours – at least pretending to do my homework – and then I would go and play baseball under the lights as a 9-year-old boy. In front of hundreds of people, under the lights."
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The 14-time MLB All Star also talked about the importance of reaching out to younger baseball players and how they can impact the next generation.
"I remember when I was a young man and I met Dan Marino,” Rodriguez shared. "It meant the world to me. It was life-changing, to be honest with you. And then, years later, I go and wear number 13, like Dan Marino, for the Yankees. So I understand the impact we can make on the next generation and I’m just so excited that more kids today are playing baseball than they were even just two years ago."
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Rodriguez is currently attending Major League Baseball's All-Star Week in Miami, Florida. On Tuesday, he also shared a pic with his girlfriend, Jennifer Lopez, and MLB commissioner Rob Manfred and his wife, Colleen, at the New Era Cap MLB All-Star Game party.
The couple has been hanging out non-stop. Last week, Rodriguez shared a sweet video of J.Lo singing her new single, "Ni Tu Ni Yo," at a house party. Watch her performance in the video below.