Clinton Hill’s A-Rod Grocery Gives Player a Second Chance

March 3, 2015 | Prachi Gupta

Like the rest of America, Clinton Hill bodega owner Ricardo Rodriguez is giving A-Rod a second chance.

When Ricardo Rodriguez first changed the name of his bodega to A-Rod Grocery 15 years ago, his Clinton Hill neighbors were delighted. “When he moved to New York, a lot of people got excited,” Ricardo Rodriguez said to the New York Daily News, recalling when A-rod left the Texas Rangers to join the Yankees. “They thought he owned the place.”

After the New York Yankees player fell out of favor amid a juicing scandal, however, Rodriguez felt pressure to change it.”We never thought it would be an issue, but it’s about making sure the people are happy, and that’s why we decided to change the name,” he told the Daily News in 2013.

But over a year later, A-Rod Grocery is still standing proud. Well, sort of. A-Rod, once the best player in the game, is currently coming back from a season-long suspension over performance enhancing drugs. He issued a hand-written apology note to his fans in February, writing, “I take full responsibility for the mistakes that led to my suspension for the 2014 season. I regret that my actions made the situation worse than it needed to be. To Major League Baseball, the Yankees, the Steinbrenner family, the Players Association and you, the fans, I can only say I’m sorry.”

The Brooklyn Paper reports that patrons “tentatively” accept the baseball player’s apology. “If he stays healthy, you know, he can make a real difference,” said Geraldo Dominguez, who works at the bodega. For now, the name remains.

(Photo: Google Maps)