Rob Gronkowski receives monster ovation from Fenway faithful at Red Sox home opener


On a day when the Red Sox celebrated their 2018 World Series title and received their championship rings, one of the loudest ovations at Fenway was reserved for a football player. 

Following the Boston Pops' rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, and before the ceremonial first pitch, Rob Gronkowski and a gaggle of his former Patriots teammates emerged from the Green Monster with Lombardi Trophies in tow. The crowd response was audible over U2's "Beautiful Day" blaring through Fenway Park's public address speakers.

Gronkowski announced his retirement last month and has made a couple of public appearances since, but none came in front of close to 40,000 people, many of whom happen to be Patriots fans.

Gronkowski was joined by Julian Edelman, Stephon Gilmore, Patrick Chung, Matthew Slater, Jason McCourty, Duron Harmon, Deatrich Wise, Derek Rivers, Joe Thuney, Ja'Whaun Bentley, Joe Cardona, Obi Melifonwu, Ted Karras, Keion Crossen, Ryan Izzo, Cole Crosten, Dan Skipper, Ramon Humber, Brian Hoyer, Danny Etling, Trent Harris and A.J. Howard.

Edelman, Gilmore and Gronkowski threw out the first pitches to kick things off at Fenway for the 2019 season, with Edelman — always one to take an opportunity to show off his arm — whipping one a little wide to reigning American League MVP Mookie Betts.

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