One of the biggest Major League Baseball stars of the last 30 years was Alex Rodriguez. After a 22-year baseball career, Rodriguez is now an MLB studio analyst, NBA team owner, and the co-founder of sports betting and fan experience company Mojo.
During his MLB career, Rodriguez got advice from one of the greatest investors of all time.
What Happened: At the age of 25, Rodriguez signed a 10-year, $252 million contract with the Texas Rangers. It was the largest contract signed by an athlete at the time, and remains one of the largest deals ever for Major League Baseball.
Rodriguez learned that his contract was underwritten by Warren Buffett, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc (NYSE: BRK-A)(NYSE: BRK-B). Rangers owner Tom Hicks was told by Buffett to send $4 million cash, and he would insure the large 10-year contract. Hicks agreed and sent cash to Buffett.
After learning of this connection to one of the most famous investors of all time, Rodriguez decided to reach out and cold call Buffett.
“I reached out to him and I said, ‘Warren, now that we’re business partners, maybe I can come out and see you in Omaha,’” Rodriguez said, as reported by CNBC.
Rodriguez said Buffett’s secretary Debbie Bosanek invited Rodriguez to come out to Omaha later in the year.
“I said ‘I’ll be there, cause we’re not going to the playoffs.’”
Rodriguez recalled getting several pieces of advice from Buffett during their meeting.
“Number one, he says, be a gentleman, always be a gentleman, character’s most important, he goes, buy great businesses at a fair price, not a fair business at a great price, and then he just says invest like if you want to own this for years and years and years to come. I mean, it really keeps it pretty simple,” Rodriguez said on an episode of the “Walker Webcast.”
Buffett also shared his two biggest pieces of investment advice with Rodriguez.
“The two rules of investing are one, never lose money, and two, don’t forget rule number one,” Rodriguez recalled Buffett telling him.
Why It’s Important: Rodriguez said that the initial cold call to Buffett not only imparted valuable insights but also fostered a relationship with the renowned investor. This connection now includes yearly visits to Omaha for meetings with Buffett.
“The two of us have this great connection over our love of baseball,” Rodriguez shared, highlighting the strength of their bond.
“Warren has been a great friend and mentor to me for over 20 years, and Warren just keeps things simple,” Rodriguez said on the “Walker Webcast.”
During his 22 years in Major League Baseball, Rodriguez made $429.9 million in salary and $455.2 million in total MLB compensation, according to Spotrac.
Three years after signing a record-setting contract, Rodriguez was traded from the Rangers to the New York Yankees. He then went on to break his own record by signing a new 10-year contract worth $275 million.
Since retiring from baseball, Rodriguez has used the investment advice from Buffett to power his portfolio, which includes real estate and investments in companies. Rodriguez is also the owner of the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves and WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx.
“He’s got a money mind. He just gets things if they’re business or money-related,” Buffett said of Rodriguez.
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