MIAMI (AP) — New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez returned Sunday to a place that he’d never been.

Rodriguez is a Miami native and spent many fall weekends growing up at the Orange Bowl, looking for ways into the fabled stadium to watch University of Miami and Miami Dolphins football games.

The Orange Bowl is gone, replaced now by the new Marlins Park, a $515 million structure for Miami’s baseball team.

And A-Rod was in the lineup Sunday for the first big-league game in the building, an exhibition between the Yankees and Marlins.

Rodriguez says he was invited to see the building several times during the construction phase. He declined, saying he wanted to wait until he could play in the ballpark, and calls Sunday “a very special day.”

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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