NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) – Yankees star Alex Rodriguez was beyond excited to play in the Miami Marlins’ new ballpark on Sunday.
But that doesn’t mean he’d prefer knocking home runs in his hometown over the Big Apple.
“I really, really love living here,” A-Rod said of Miami. “I love playing in New York.”
Rodriguez was in the lineup Sunday for the first game between two big-league clubs at the new $515 million Marlins Park, an exhibition between Miami and the Yankees. New York came out on top, 10-8.
“I don’t want to be corny or cheesy because it is a spring training game and all that, but for me this is a very special day,” Rodriguez said. “To be able to grow up in these streets, in these square blocks … I never imagined, as a child, that such a beautiful stadium would be built in the middle of Miami. So I’m very proud of the city of Miami and the Marlins to be able to achieve this in my hometown.
“This is kind of like, ‘Hello, major league baseball. We’re here,’” Rodriguez said.
The Yankees and Marlins play again in the building on Monday, before the real opening comes for Miami against the reigning World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night.
A-Rod arranged for tickets for plenty of family and friends for this two-game exhibition series, helping a list that included names from Westminster Christian — his high school, about 25 miles south of the ballpark — to the University of Miami and members of the Boys & Girls Club. On Monday, he said he would take a tour of the whole park with his daughters and a couple of friends, just to soak in everything the place has to offer.
“I’ll tell you, I get chills,” Rodriguez said. “I’m a little emotional because I’m right down the street. I get to share this with my family and friends today, my two daughters will be here and they’re super excited. Look, we know what Yankee Stadium means to us in New York. It means the world. It’s been a big success for us. And I really hope that it’s a huge success for not only Major League Baseball, but for (owner Jeffrey Loria) and the Marlins.”
Does A-Rod truly have the best of both worlds? Be heard in the comments below…