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.
"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."
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."
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.