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by Randy Becton

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    Alex Rodriguez was born on July 27, 1975, in New York City. When he was four, his family moved to the Dominican Republic, where he spent several years before returning to the United States.

    In Miami, Alex fell in love with baseball and dreamed of becoming a professional shortstop like his hero, Cal Ripken, Jr. His athletic ability flourished in high school and during his Senior year he was selected as the Seattle Mariners’ number one draft pick. He has been in the major leagues since he was nineteen. Now, at the age of 27, he already has more records on offense than any shortstop in baseball history.

    His life’s story off of the field has been published in a book for children entitled Hit A Grand Slam. Alex collaborated with Greg Brown, an award winning sportswriter, to tell the remarkable story of his family’s Christian values. It shows Alex’s love and respect for his mother, his grandmother, and the two coaches he had at the Boys’ Club in Miami — Coach Juan Diego Arteaga and Coach Eddy Rodriguez.

    These two coaches served as father-figures because Alex’s father had left the family abruptly to move to New York to work “for a short time.” Alex writes:

    He promised to return. When you’re young, you believe your dad. I knew he’d come back as surely as the sun would rise on the Sunshine State. He had been a great dad. He played ‘catch’ with me. He taught me math. He loved me.

    Alex argued with his sister, taking his dad’s promise as firm and dependable. As the weeks passed, Alex eventually realized that his dad was not going to come back, but year after year he continued to long for his father to return. He became fearful of darkness and silence. He calls it his “grave of pain.” During these years, he only talked to his dad by phone a total of maybe five times.

    He wanted to understand how a father could just walk away from his children and not come back. He still hopes to reconnect with his father, but he also wants to help other children who have gone through the loss of the sudden desertion of a parent.

    Alex is grown now, and has married. He says that his faith provides him strength and gives him an anchor for his soul. He is no longer fearful of darkness and silence — but he still remembers those nights he experienced as a child.

He wanted to understand...
    Alex’s baseball contract — 25 million dollars a year — is beyond comprehension, but he says he wants to help others, and to keep growing in knowledge and faith.

    He says that with or without the millions of dollars they pay him, he wants to remain the same person at the heart level. He pushes away from the “hype” while trying to live his faith each day. Younger players from several major league teams give Alex credit for helping them stay “grounded” and true to their values even as the word “star” is added to their name.

    When Broadman-Holman published a book on modern heroes, they included Alex and described him as a “committed Christian.” He doesn’t want to “wear his religion on his sleeve,” as he puts it, but he says that he does want to live in such a way that people will actually see the difference Jesus makes in his life!

Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you teach, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. (1 Timothy 4:12)


Are you presently experiencing a new life? God’s word says, “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” This new life is a free gift of God through faith Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about this life that only Jesus can give you, sign up for one of our Bible courses. Wherever you are in life, whatever you’ve done, you can begin again. You may also contact Randy Becton at rbecton@heraldoftruth.org if you have questions about becoming a new creation.

 
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      © 2003, Herald of Truth and Randy Becton, Herald of Truth. Used by permission.

      Title: ""
      Author: Randy Becton
      Publication Date: July 30, 2003


 
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