MLB Star Alex Rodriguez Returns To Westminster Christian
The Westminster Christian baseball program has a long and proud history of success. The school has won 11 state baseball titles, which ties with Key West for the most in Florida history.
Among its proudest moments is the 1992 National Championship team, and therefore the Warriors are celebrating the 25th anniversary of that special year all throughout this season. Members of that squad will attend each home game and throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Tuesday afternoon Westminster Christian welcomed back its most accomplished member of that club, as former New York Yankees All Star Alex Rodriguez returned as the guest of honor. Along with several of his former teammates and lifelong friends, A-Rod was recognized and honored prior to the Warriors’ district win over Palmer Trinity.
Rodriguez entered the field and took the mound to a chorus of cheers from the packed stadium of young fans, before then throwing a solid strike on the outside corner of the zone. With a huge smile and awash with nostalgic memories, A-Rod glowed with appreciation of Tuesday’s chance to come back to where it all started for him.
It meant just as much to the Westminster Christian community. Children lined the fence to bump fists with Rodriguez and the stadium was abuzz with excitement. The Warriors came out with their best stuff against the rival Falcons, jumping right out of the gate with a huge lead on the way to a 16-0 shutout victory. With Rodriguez staying to watch the game, it served to inspire plenty of confidence in the Warriors’ hitters.
“We look forward to him being back with the family,” Westminster Christian manager Emil Castellanos said prior to the game. “This year marks the 25th anniversary of the 1992 National Championship team, and we’re honoring that team at every home game by bringing out a former player or coach to throw out the first pitch. Last night we had Rich Hofman throw out the first pitch and now today we have Alex Rodriguez, which is a tremendous honor to have him throw out the first pitch.”
The 1992 team is a pillar of the Warriors’ legacy, which boasts scores of accomplished student-athletes that have come through the program and then succeeded in all facets of life. That Warriors club capped off a 33-2 season with a 5-1 win over Florida Air Academy at Baseball City in Davenport to win the state championship. Hofman was named the National Coach of the Year, and Rodriguez and Doug Mientkiewicz both went on to successful professional careers.
The Westminster program has carried on the tradition of success. The Warriors were also National Champions in 1996, the first of three straight seasons in which they finished as state champions. Hofman and A-Rod have lit the fire to inspire this year’s team, and Mientkiewicz, Don Perkins and Mickey Lopez will also return for home games later throughout the season. A twelfth state title this year would also break a tie with Key West for the most in Florida history, which is something Alex Rodriguez and the rest of the Westminster Christian family will be rooting for.