Over 20 New England Patriots players were in attendance at the Red Sox home opener, where Gronk, Edelman, and Gilmore threw out first pitches together.
In a stirring pre-game ceremony at the Boston Red Sox home opener, two beloved Massachusetts professional sports franchises joined forces to celebrate their collective achievements. The Red Sox invited the New England Patriots to be honored alongside them before their game against the Toronto Blue Jays, and fans in attendance were treated to quite the spectacle.
The Red Sox brought out all four of the World Series trophies they’ve won this millennium (2004, 2007, 2013, 2018), and the Patriots brought out their six Lombardi Trophies as well (2001, 2003, 2004, 2014, 2016, 2018). All together, there were 10 gleaming pieces of hardware on the field at Fenway Park to remind the world why Boston has become the city of champions over the past 20 years.
Although Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and Robert Kraft were all conspicuously absent from the ceremony for various reasons, a number of Patriots players attended the celebration. Foremost among them were Julian Edelman (Super Bowl 53 MVP), Rob Gronkowski (recently-retired), and Stephon Gilmore (game-sealing interception in Super Bowl 53).
Edelman, Gronkowski, and Gilmore simultaneously threw out three first pitches to Mookie Betts, Steve Pearce, and Jackie Bradley Jr. Looking on were 19 other players from the Patriots organization, the Red Sox, the Blue Jays, and of course, thousands of adoring Boston fans who had the rare opportunity to celebrate two different sports championships at the same time in one special event.
The Red Sox have struggled a bit in the early 2019 baseball season, going 3-8 across their first 11 games on the road as they begin their quest to repeat as World Champions. The Patriots have also faced their fair share of adversity in the NFL offseason, losing a number of coaches and players to other teams in free agency. To cap off what was already a turbulent March, New England saw one of the greatest players in its franchise history, Rob Gronkowski, retire from football at the age of 29.
Both teams are hoping to get back on track sooner rather than later as they eye repeats in their respective sports.