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July 27, 1975 Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez was born in Washington Heights, New York. He is the youngest of three children born to Lourdes and Victor Rodriguez.

1979 Deciding to retire, Victor Rodriguez closed the shoe store he owned in Manhattan and moved his family to the Dominican Republic. Alex began playing baseball there.

1983 Victor Rodriguez ended his retirement early and moved his family back to the United States, this time to Miami, Florida, where he opened another shoe store.
1984 Rodriguez's parents divorced after Victor Rodriguez left his family and moved to New York. To support the family, Lourdes Rodriguez took two jobs, working as a secretary during the day and waiting tables in the evening.
1991 Rodriguez played baseball and football in his junior year at Miami's Westminster Christian Prep School. On the football field, he was quarterback and led the school team to a 9-1 record. On the baseball diamond, he batted .450 and helped guide the team to a 35-2 record and a national championship.
1992 Rodriguez's high school baseball team was named national champion by the National High School Baseball Coaches Association and Baseball America.
1993 Giving up football in favor of baseball for his senior year, Rodriguez had an excellent season and was the only high school-aged finalist for the Golden Spikes Award, given annually to the top amateur player in the country. The Westminster team was named No. 1 in a national ranking by USA Today.
June 3, 1993 Drafted by the Seattle Mariners, Rodriguez was the first player selected in the free-agent amateur draft June 3. The same night, he received a phone call from his father, the first time he had spoken to him since his father left when Rodriguez was 9 years old.

Rodriguez, who wanted to play in the National League so he could be close to Miami, had reservations about playing in Seattle. Offered a baseball scholarship by the University of Miami, he signed a letter of intent.
August 30, 1993 Bypassing college, Rodriguez signed with the Mariners after weeks of negotiations between the team and Scott Boras, Rodriguez's agent. Rodriguez's contract is $1.3 million over three years, with a $1 million signing bonus.
1994 Rodriguez started off in the Mariners minor league organization. He played 65 games with the Class A team in Appleton, Wisconsin, and 17 games on the Class AA team in Jacksonville, Florida, before the Mariners called him up to the big leagues. Thirteen months after graduating from high school, he made his major league debut July 8, 1994, against the Boston Red Sox. It was an inauspicious start as he went 0-for-3.
Winter 1994 Rodriguez spent the winter playing winter league ball in the Dominican Republic, which he later called the "toughest experience of my life." He only batted .179.
August 31, 1995 Rodriguez was called up by the Mariners for the fourth and final time, but he rarely moved off the bench as Seattle made a run all the way to the American League Championship Series.
March 31, 1996 At age 20, Rodriguez became the Mariners' starting shortstop.
July 8, 1996 Rodriguez made the cover of Sports Illustrated and was labeled baseball's "Hot Player" and "The Game's Next Superstar."
July 9, 1996 Rodriguez played in his first All-Star game, going 0-for-1.
July 27, 1996 On his 21st birthday, Rodriguez signed a four-year, $10.5 million contract extension with Seattle. He also announced the formation of his Grand Slam for Kids educational program. It encourages grade-school children to work on reading, math, physical fitness and good citizenship.
October, 1996 Rodriguez ended his first complete season in the major leagues with an impressive array of statistics. His .358 batting average led the majors and was the highest average for a right-handed hitter since Joe DiMaggio hit .381 in 1939. His 215 hits were the most ever hit by a shortstop in one season. He also led the league in doubles (54), grand slams (3), total bases (379) and runs scored (141). To round it out, he hit 36 home runs and drove in 123 runs. In recognition, he was named The Sporting News Major League Player of the Year and AP Player of the Year.
July 8, 1997 Rodriguez became the first American League shortstop besides Ripken, his childhood hero, to start an All-Star game since 1983.
August 9, 1997 Rodriguez became the ninth player to hit a home run into the Seattle Kingdome's second deck.
1998 Rodriguez began dating Miami high school psychology teacher Cynthia Scurtis.
May 11, 1998 People magazine selected Rodriguez as one of the magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People in the World. The accompanying article revealed that he flosses his teeth four times a day. "I'm big into teeth," he said.
September 19, 1998 Rodriguez hit his 40th home run of the season to become only the third player in major league history to hit 40 homers and steal 40 bases. When he hit his 41st homer September 22, he surpassed the American League record for home runs by a shortstop, set in 1969 by Rico Petrocelli of the Boston Red Sox. He finished the season with 42 homers and 46 stolen bases.
April 7, 1999 Rodriguez injured his knee and was put on the disabled list with a knee injury. Surgery was required to repair torn cartilage, and he missed 32 games.
May 14, 1999 He returned from the disabled list and hit a home run in his first at bat.
October 2, 1999 Rodriguez matched his own American League record for home runs by a shortstop when he hit No. 42 off Oakland's Tim Kubinski.
June 29, 2000 People magazine put Rodriguez on its America's 100 Most Eligible Bachelors list.
October 17, 2000 After 790 games as a Mariner, Rodriguez played his last game for the team. The New York Yankees eliminated the Mariners in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series.
November 10, 2000 Rodriguez became a free agent, and the bidding war began. Teams rumored at the time to be interested in signing him included the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles, Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners.
December 11, 2000 The bidding war ended as Rodriguez signed a 10-year, $252 million contract with the Texas Rangers, the most lucrative contract in sports history.
April 1, 2001 Rodriguez joined the Texas Rangers in an 8-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays in the major league opener in Puerto Rico. The 2001 season has not gone well for the Rangers so far. At the start of July, the team ranked last place in its division.
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Images courtesy CNN and Taylor Publishing Co.

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