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Gronkowski wins home run derby in Buffalo

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As the MLB All-Stars convened in Kansas City for the annual Home Run Derby, a different collection of would-be bat-swingers got together in Buffalo for an identical event.

And Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski won the celebrity home run contest, according to Steve Silva of Boston.com.

Gronkowski beat out Bills CEO Russ Brandon, who played college baseball.  Per Silva, Gronkowski hit a total of 12 dingers over two rounds.  In the finals, he slugged eight homers, while Brandon mustered a mere seven.

It was a little nerve-wracking going out there,” Gronkowski said, via Mike Haim of metrowny.com.  “My heart was beating fast, it kind of felt like playing a football game. . . .  “I’m always trying to win.  I would be disappointed if I didn’t.”

Gronkowski, a native of the Buffalo area but now a star for the locally-despised Patriots, was concerned about receiving a Matt Cassel-style reception.  “I was wondering what I was going to get,” Gronkowski said. “[I got] a couple of cheers and a couple of boos.  I heard the boos, but I think the cheers were louder.  It’s all part of it and it was fun.”

The event preceded the Triple-A Home Run Derby, held before more than 17,00 fans.  And while the celebrities used a shorter porch, which was perched midway through the outfield, Gronkowski reportedly sent one ball soaring nearly 400 feet.

Contestants included Bills Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, Bill Hall of Fame offensive lineman Joe DeLamielleure, Bills running back Fred Jackson, actor Nick Bakay, and former Panthers, Bills, and Colts G.M. Bill Polian.

For Gronkowski, it was a far tamer affair than the other things he’s been doing since becoming one of the most famous/notorious players in the NFL.  Although it would have been a lot more interesting if he’d celebrated by spiking a baseball — and if it had bounced up and hit him in the place where baseballs tend to inflict a significant amount of relatively short-term, delayed-reaction pain.

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9 Responses to “Gronkowski wins home run derby in Buffalo”
  1. anotheryx says: Jul 10, 2012 10:47 AM

    That looked like alot more than 1700 fans…

  2. patsfiend says: Jul 10, 2012 11:27 AM

    Of course he won. Nobody has more fun than Gronk, but I can’t wait for training camp to start just to get him back under wraps / under the reign of Bill / back under wraps.

  3. sj39 says: Jul 10, 2012 11:32 AM

    Gronk is great, I’m glad he had nothing to do with the Spygate years.

  4. nepatriots128154 says: Jul 10, 2012 11:33 AM

    Gronkowski appears to be in 8 places at once! He’s either at a charity event, something like this home run derby, on the cover of ESPN, working at Dunkin Donuts, or doing God knows what. I wonder when he sleeps.

  5. ampats says: Jul 10, 2012 11:40 AM

    Gronk soy fiesta!

    Next up, Cover of ESPN Body Issue featuring Gronk on the cover.The good news is that with all the fun he has experienced this off season, Gronk does not show up on any police blotters.

    The journey to New Orleans next February is underway at One Patriot Place !

  6. jagsfanugh says: Jul 10, 2012 12:19 PM

    This a player that seems to be enjoying the heck out of the spotlight for all the right reason. Grats to him for his new contract and his stellar play.

  7. sterilizecromartie says: Jul 10, 2012 12:42 PM

    I know Gronk’s schedule is packed these days, but has he reserved any time to focus on that little game called football? Maybe someone should give him a friendly reminder…

  8. CKL says: Jul 10, 2012 1:50 PM

    sterilizecromartie says:
    Jul 10, 2012 12:42 PM
    I know Gronk’s schedule is packed these days, but has he reserved any time to focus on that little game called football? Maybe someone should give him a friendly reminder…
    ________________________________
    He wasn’t a full participant even in the walkthroughs at OTAs or minicamps. They aren’t really testing the ankle yet. So he’s fine as far as his football stuff in my book. If he starts begging off TC to do photoshoots, I’ll be with you.

  9. catquick says: Jul 10, 2012 2:37 PM

    It seems obvious that Gronk should resign from the Pat’s immediately and focus on minor league baseball. He only caught 17 TD’s last year, and hit 20 HR’s in one day! Take it from a friend Gronk, quit the Pat’s now, and start on baseball. You’ll love it! Your friend, Dave Wannstadt.

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