JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Alex "A-Rod" Rodriguez spent some time in Jacksonville at the beginning of his baseball career.
"The first game he played in, he hit a homerun and we won the game 1-0 against the Greenville Braves, so he was super impressive," said Jacksonville Suns President Peter Bragan Jr.
Rodriguez only played ball in Jacksonville for about five weeks before he moved on, but Bragan remembers it well.
"His sister came up with him because he was so young, he wasn't even legal to be drinking beer in the clubhouse. He was probably 18 or 19 and he had a big sister who stayed, almost more like a chaperone," said Bragan.
The news of A-Rod's suspension over allegedly using performance enhancing drugs, and lying about it, is upsetting news to Andy Barkett, Suns manager, who knew Rodriguez back in the 90s.
"What's more disappointing for me through all of this is that I used to think when we worked out with him that I was in the presence of one of the greatest players in the world, without any drugs," said Barkett. "To see that was all tainted and was all drug induced, or a lot of it was, is disappointing, because maybe he was doing it then."