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“Pudge” Rodríguez, from baseball to finance

Retired Puerto Rican baseball player Iván Pudge Rodríguez wants young Hispanic players who come to the US to join baseball teams to learn about business, as he did, to prevent them from being deceived or ignorantly losing what they struggle to win.
Rodríguez, considered one of the best “catchers” (receivers) of all time, retired from baseball four years ago and today, at 44, announced his incorporation into a venture capital fund as a partner and executive vice president for the development of business.
The z9 Capital fund “is not a school,” but we want to help them, “Pudge” said today in an interview with Efe, who played with the Marlins, the Detroit Tigers, the New York Yankees, the Houston Astros, the Washington Nationals and the Texas Rangers, and knows what it’s like not to be properly advised.
“Baseball is not for life,” added Rodríguez, who got into the world of finance and investment about ten years ago, when he was still active in the sport, to get a return on his money, but now he intends to do it also for others together with “good and professional people”.
According to the statement in which z9 announced the induction of this Hall of Fame nominee for 2017, holder of 13 Gold Gloves and 14 times chosen for the All-Star Game, “Pudge” is an advisor to seven companies from four different sectors both in the US as in Latin America.
Rodríguez and his partners are committed to high-impact emerging businesses that encourage entrepreneurship and innovation throughout the continent, businesses in which they can invest amounts ranging from 250,000 to 4 million dollars.
“Pudge” applies the discipline and effort that baseball demands to this new phase of his life, in which he has as partners his “brother” and former Puerto Rican baseball player Nandy Serrano and the entrepreneurs Benny Aboud and Joe Randazza.
Z9 Capital, headquartered in the city of Boca Raton, north of Miami, announced at the latest edition of eMerge Americas, one of the most important technology events in the US and Latin America, the creation of a fund of 25 million dollars called ClubHouse.
Rodríguez points out that technology and energy are the sectors in which he is focused and as an investor he declares himself “conservative”.
The advice he gives to baseball players who come to the United States from Caribbean or Latin American countries with the hope of succeeding in the big leagues is to fight for their dream.
“When you want to do something in life and you put your mind, your heart and your strength, you achieve it,” says “Pudge.”
When he arrived, he was 16 years old and had little or no knowledge of English, but he had the desire to always succeed “in front” and when that’s the case, “nobody stops you.”
Rodríguez, born in Manatí (Puerto Rico) and father of three children, says that he already has contacts with some Hispanic baseball players who are in the US to advise and teach them.
Regarding the tricks or bad advice that many of these young people, generally of humble extraction, receive, he affirms knowingly that “unfortunately that happens in all kinds of sports” and that it is best to be advised.
“The best recommendation when these athletes are adapting to a new life is to have a team base, to have someone they trust before making a decision,” Serrano said. EFE

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