April 17 (UPI) — Recently retired New England tight end Rob Gronkowski left the Patriots’ organization with one final present.
The Patriots’ most recent Lombardi Trophy, from Super Bowl LIII, has a baseball-sized dent in it after Gronkowski used the trophy as a bat.
The team’s official Twitter account posted a video of Gronkowski using the trophy to bunt a pitch from Patriots receiver and Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman before an on-field appearance at the Boston Red Sox‘s home opener April 9.
“Gronk thought of a great idea. He’d play around and get a swing in,” Patriots defensive back Jason McCourty said. “As he’s lined up, Jules is the pitcher. Gronk’s standing there and I think we’re all under the impression, ‘No way is he going to swing the Lombardi Trophy.’
“Yeah, Gronkowski’s parting gift.”
.@RobGronkowski left a mark on this organization.
And on the sixth Lombardi. pic.twitter.com/t5IVTyCXcA
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) April 17, 2019
The Patriots haven’t officially decided whether to fix the trophy in the future. For now, New England executive vice president of media relations Stacey James said, “we’re going to keep the dent and tell the story.”
Gronkowski and about 20 other Patriots players participated in the festivities at the Red Sox’s opener in recognition of the team’s Super Bowl win over the Los Angeles Rams in February. Gronkowski threw out the ceremonial first pitch, alongside Edelman and Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
Gronkowski announced his retirement from the NFL in March after nine seasons in the league.