BOSTON â€” Tom Brady’s Super Bowl jersey was stolen again â€” this time by Rob Gronkowski in full view of 37,000 screaming Red Sox fans.
The New England Patriots quarterback was showing off the recently re-acquired uniform top during the pregame ceremony on opening day at Fenway Park on Monday when Gronkowski ripped it out of his hands. Brady chased him around the infield and playfully tackled him in right field.
The Patriots said it was the same jersey that had been stolen out of their locker room in Houston after the Super Bowl victory over the Atlanta Falcons in February.
“That was awesome seeing those guys out there,” said Boston outfielder Andrew Benintendi, whose three-run homer propelled the Red Sox to a 5-3 victory over the Pirates in a rematch of the first World Series, in 1903. “I grew up watching them and still do. It was cool to see them all out there.”
Brady got the jersey back at owner Robert Kraft’s home in suburban Brookline earlier Monday . “It took an international trip,” Kraft said in the video that was tweeted out on the team’s account.
The Patriots brought all five of their Vince Lombardi trophies out for the first pitch ceremony, coming out from behind a 37 foot-high American flag draped over the Green Monster. Joining Brady, Gronk and Kraft were James White, who scored the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl in overtime, and fellow running back Dion Lewis.
The other players wore their blue uniform tops, but Brady walked out in the white one from the Super Bowl before he pulled it off and began waving it around.
Gronkowski jumped behind him and snatched it away.
“It was fun. They were kind of making fun of the whole jersey-taking thing,” said Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., who started the winning burst with a fifth-inning triple. “It was good seeing some champions out there. And they definitely know a lot about winning.”
Brady threw out the first pitch to Red Sox star Dustin Pedroia â€” like the Patriots quarterback, the longest tenured player on his team â€” before the two embraced. Even the Pirates enjoyed the pregame shenanigans.
“It was pretty hard not to,” said Pittsburgh starter Gerrit Cole. “Tom Brady is on the field, and he’s tackling Gronk. It’s a pretty special environment. I’ll probably forget everything after the fourth inning.”
The Patriots tweeted a video earlier on Monday showing Kraft presenting his star with two No. 12 Super Bowl jerseys that had been missing. (Another had disappeared after the 2015 Super Bowl.)
Kraft thanked the authorities who found the jerseys while searching the property of Mexican media executive Martin Mauricio Ortega. He has not been charged.
Jimmy Golen, The Associated Press