-- ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Alex Rodriguez says he has started baseball activities in preparation for what he hopes will be another good season.
The 40-year-old New York Yankees slugger is coming off a remarkable comeback season, when he hit .250 with 33 homers and 86 RBIs after missing all of 2014 because of a season-long MLB suspension.
"A Cinderella-type season," Rodriguez said Tuesday. "In so many ways a dream season. I'm just so fortunate to be back, and be welcomed by, obviously, the Steinbrenners, all my teammates, the fans of New York. I'm look forward to building on that."
Rodriguez was under a different spotlight Tuesday, taking center stage to recite "The Night Before Christmas" before 1,500 fourth- and fifth-graders during the Steinbrenner family's annual Children's Christmas Concert at the Mahaffey Theatre.
Rodriguez also addressed the importance of education.
"I challenge you one day when you're old like me, when you are successful and you're making an impact, to come back on days like this and pay it forward," Rodriguez said. "This is the time now that you get to impact your future, and the No. 1 way of doing that is read and math skills."
This is the 27th year that the Steinbrenner family, which owns the Yankees, has held concerts for students in the Tampa Bay area.