Diamonds and Ice


A good guy gets released
August 19, 2008, 11:56 pm
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Was sad to see Kernels first baseman Gordie Gronkowski get his release from the Los Angeles Angels organization Monday night. You always know something’s up after a game when a player walks into the manager’s office and the door closes. The look on Gordie’s face as he headed into that office kind of tipped you off that he knew what was going to happen. A few minutes later and he was packing up his gear into a bag.

Gronkowski hadn’t played in about two months because of a chronic back problem that nagged him back when he played collegiately at Jacksonville University. He was 25 years old and hitting under .220, so you put all three of those things together and his release probably wasn’t too surprising. The timing of it kind of was.

Gordie is perhaps the nicest player I have ever had the pleasure of meeting in the 10 years I’ve been covering the Kernels for The Gazette. He always greeted you when he saw you, extending his hand and giving you a pat on the back. That stuff goes a long way with a reporter who has dealt with his fair share of, well, a**holes over the years.

I wanted to shake hands and wish Gordie well while he was packing up his stuff in the clubhouse last night, but didn’t really want to bother him during what must have been a difficult time. So consider this post that handshake, Gordie. Good luck with whatever you do with the rest of your life. I know you’ll be successful with whatever it is.

Believe it or not, nice guys do finish first plenty of times.

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2 Comments so far
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Well put, J.J. With the exception of a certain MWL manager, I have never met a nicer guy in baseball. I saw Gordie loading up his stuff, and I wanted to go over and wish him well, but I’m sure he had other things on his mind.

Comment by Al Gruwell

Found this site just a few years late.

That said, I totally concur on your assessment of GG. What a great kid!

Gordie was one of the Kernels helping with the kids’ baseball camp. The weather was hot & humid…my younger daughter was bored out of her mind and upset about the day’s heat – then Gordie saw her & gave her his popsicle. She became his biggest fan.

How rare it is to see a young man these days try to make a little kid happy with a simple act of kindness.

It wasn’t until this last year that I learned GG comes from a family of mega-achieving athletes. His brothers may be more famous, but none can compare to the sweet kid we met in CR.

Best of luck always to Gordie…a true gentleman.

Comment by M Camburn




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