“Left my heart in Michigan,” Rodriguez, 48, captioned an Instagram post uploaded on Sunday, August 27. “Dropping off @thenatasharodriguez at college was one of the hardest, but most proud moments of being a father. Can’t wait to watch her take on this big new chapter.”
In the series of photos, Rodriguez could be seen smiling with his daughter at various locations around the Ann Arbor campus — including her dorm room. The final video in the post showed Rodriguez waving goodbye from his car window with a pout on his face, signaling his sadness. His current girlfriend, Jaclyn “Jac” Cordeiro, was also present in the photos.
“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,’” he shared with Us. “And that was [the] deal.”
The retired MLB star said his eldest child is “crystal clear on what she wants” in life.
“She’s such a hard worker and doesn’t expect any free rides [and] wants to work for everything she gets,” Rodriguez shared. “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.”
At the time, Rodriguez noted that he was “both incredibly proud” of Natasha for getting accepted into the prestigious theater program and “incredibly sad that my first baby is leaving us.”
“And you know, for us dads, they’re always our babies — even if they’re 30 years old,” he told Us, recalling one specific moment that showed what home life will be like with Natasha at school.
“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 shared, noting she was on an overnight trip. “I’m like, ‘Oh, this is a preview of the next four years.’”
Ella, for her part, is excited to be “the alpha in the house now” with her sister gone, Rodriguez joked. “But I think, for the most part, she’s definitely like all of us: Very sad and proud that Natasha’s going to Michigan.”
Natasha announced that she was “extremely honored and proud” to share her decision to attend the University of Michigan in a heartfelt Instagram post uploaded on April 1.
“I still can’t believe this is a real opportunity I’ve been given, and it’s an absolute dream come true!!!” she gushed. “Thank you to the team that has guided me through this process and chooses to endlessly share their brilliance and love with me — I would not be here without you!”