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Looking back: 1993
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05/29/2003 12:06 PM ET 
Looking back: 1993
A decade ago, the legend of A-Rod began
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Alex Rodriguez was selected No. 1 in the 1993 draft and the rest is history. (Osamu Honda/AP)
It might as well just be called the A-Rod Draft, for the 1993 First-Year Player Draft will forever be remembered for being Alex Rodriguez's ascension into professional baseball.

Amazing to think that a decade later, still young with a lot of baseball left in him at age 27, Rodriguez has pushed past 300 homers and has established himself as the game's best all-around player. With each step already seemingly pointed to Cooperstown, the once-skinny kid from Miami has done pretty well for himself.

But, then, A-Rod was nothing if not a can't-miss prospect coming out of Miami's Westminster Christian Prep back in '93.

The amateur baseball community took notice, making him a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award -- a rarity for a high school player. The professional baseball community definitely knew all about Rodriguez as he matured into one of the best prospects scouts had seen in some time.

He was a player with all the tools, evidenced by his nine home runs and 36 RBIs in 33 games as a senior, his 35 steals in 35 attempts and a body type and fielding presence at shortstop that reminded so many of Cal Ripken Jr.

With all that going for him, A-Rod was already mature enough to know he had the baseball world in his pocket, and he knew how to handle it.

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime situation," Rodriguez said prior to the draft. "If I stopped and looked at all the positives I might stumble. I'm only 17 so I'll enjoy every moment, and play hard and play to win."