A-Rod gives $1 million to Boys & Girls Clubs

A-Rod gives $1 million to Boys & Girls Clubs

NEW YORK -- It's the Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade that Alex Rodriguez has given so much credit to for his success in the Major Leagues, so on Monday, the slugger decided to return to his roots and give back.

Before the Yankees opened a four-game set with the Red Sox on Monday night, Rodriguez donated $1 million to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade, a donation that comes in perfect timing with the organization's expansion initiative to serve more children. The donation is part of the Yankees' and Rodriguez's agreement for charities to receive $3.5 million in lieu of Rodriguez receiving money for his historical statistical milestones. The agreement was for The Special Operations Warrior Foundation, Boys & Girls Club of Tampa and Pitch In For Baseball to each receive donations totaling $1 million. The Major League Baseball Urban Youth Foundation receives $2.5 million.

On Monday, the check to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade was signed by The Major League Baseball Urban Youth Foundation.

"If it wasn't for the Boys & Girls Club, I wouldn't be in the big leagues today," Rodriguez said earlier this year. "It's an important message, not just for kids that are going to make it to the Major Leagues, but the lessons you learn with baseball -- the discipline, the dedication, the hard work, the falling back and having to get up again. That's what our kids are going to have to do. I think baseball is a great teacher of that."

Jim Bernhardt, a longtime mentor of Rodriguez's, was part of the pregame ceremony in the Bronx, where the memories over the years came back easily.

"I mentored Alex when he was young," Bernhardt said. "Our kids grew up together, and, actually, my son was drafted by the Yankees, too, when he came out of high school."

Alex Rodriguez-Roig, the Miami-Dade Boys & Girls Club president (who has no relation to Alex) said Rodriguez has been a long-time supporter of the club, both financially and as an active participant.

The timing of Rodriguez's gift couldn't be better, as Rodriguez-Roig's goal is to serve more kids as soon as possible.

"He's meant the world in the sense that this is where he grew up in. He never forgot that this is where he grew up in," Rodriguez-Roig said. "His objective is simple: It was a great place for him and he just wants to make it greater for the next generation to come."

Grace Raynor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.