Alex Rodriguez is preparing to send eldest daughter Natasha off to college at the University of Michigan — after making specific demands about her class selection.
“My only condition is because all these young actors want to bypass college and I’m always saying, like, ‘You can [study] drama, you can do whatever you want, but as long as you’re taking your business classes at Michigan; they have a great business school,’” Rodriguez, 48, exclusively told Us Weekly on Friday, August 4, of Natasha’s interest in the university’s prestigious musical theater program. “And that was [the] deal.”
Natasha — whom the retired baseball player shares with ex-wife Cynthia Scurtis, along with 15-year-old daughter Ella — graduated from high school earlier this year after committing to Michigan’s BFA program to study performing arts. The 18-year-old is set to move onto the midwestern campus later this month.
“I can’t believe it. I’m gonna drop her off in a few weeks in Ann Arbor, and I’m both incredibly proud of Natasha but also incredibly sad that my first baby is leaving us,” Rodriguez said on Friday, while promoting his partnership with OraPharma. “And you know, for us dads, they’re always our babies — even if they’re 30 years old.”
The MLB icon has already started to see how different this home life will be with Natasha away at school during a recent overnight trip. “I had the first moment where I went to wake up my little one, Ella, and [their] rooms are right across from each other. And, you know, habitual — I’ve been doing this for 18 years — I go and knock in Natasha’s room and she’s not there,” he recalled to Us. “I’m like, ‘Oh, this is a preview of the next four years.’”
Rodriguez — who is currently dating fitness trainer Jaclyn “Jac” Cordeiro — further opened up about how Ella is coping with her big sister leaving home.
“I think there’s parts of her that are excited because she gets to be, like, the alpha in the house now [since] she has a younger stepsister, Cami,” he explained, referring to Scurtis and husband Angel Nicolas’ 7-year-old daughter. “But I think, for the most part, she’s definitely like all of us: Very sad and proud that Natasha’s going to Michigan.”
One of the ways Natasha is making her dad, in particular, proud is through her mindset about pursuing a career in the arts. “I think she’s crystal clear on what she wants. I mean, she’s such a hard worker and doesn’t expect any free rides [and] wants to work for everything she gets,” Rodriguez gushed. “She’s [a] special young lady and I think her goal is to perform in one of those big [shows] like a Hamilton or something like that.”
She’s going to the right place to get the training. U of M’s notable alumni include Darren Criss (Glee), Ashley Park (Emily in Paris), Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (composers, The Greatest Showman) and James Earl Jones, just to name a few.
When Rodriguez isn’t cheering on his girls’ accomplishments — and watching them “wear [him] out” at nightly family dinners — he is working with OraPharma to raise awareness for gum disease.
“I was shocked when I received the news in one of my regular visits and I was more surprised and quite honestly a little nervous and realizing how prevalent it was in the U.S. and especially with my community,” he told Us of his own early-stage diagnosis. “From afar it looks like, ‘Oh, everything’s good, everything’s perfect, blah, blah, blah.’ But … you see that it can happen to anybody.”
He added: “I know me personally, I’m not someone that looks forward to going to the dentist, but I think what I learned is it’s something that’s a must and something that all of us should take more seriously.”
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With reporting by Christina Garibaldi