Friday night was better than Saturday night. Auburn fans, 1,715 of them, gathered in Plainsman Park to see old heroes smash some long balls in Auburn’s Annual Celebrity Home Run Derby.
It was cold. It was worth it.
The event raised more than $5,000 for the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Greater Lee County and featured an all-star lineup of Auburn legends: Bo Jackson, Frank Sanders, Hal Baird, Gabe Gross, Tim Hudson and David Ross. Current Auburn baseball players Ryan Jenkins and Kevin Patterson also participated.
Gross, a former Auburn All-American and current outfielder for the Tampa Bay Rays, and Patterson were tied for first place at the end of the first round with 15 home runs. Ross, a catcher for the Atlanta Braves, and Jenkins both had eight. Former Auburn stud and current Atlanta Braves pitcher Tim Hudson had two, as did former two-sport star Frank Sanders. Hal Baird, Auburn’s baseball coach from 1985-2000, had zilch.
So did Bo.
That didn’t stop the ovations.
Fans who have been waiting since 1986 for a player with half his ability stood and clapped for Jackson as he stepped to the plate for a pair of lethal line drives but not a single homer. The crowd roared as he walked away.
Rod Bramlett, the voice of the Auburn Tigers, met him coming off the field.
“How special was it to be back in front of an Auburn crowd?”
Bo looked up in the stands.
“The way I see it is, I’m not special. You people make us feel special. It’s because of you all that we are here. We come back here because this is home to us.”
The final round of the derby featured retired pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, epic ‘stache rocker, and huge Auburn fan Todd Jones pitching to the four first round leaders. The home runs were recorded as follows: Kevin Patterson, 2; Ryan Jenkins, 5; David Ross, 6.
Gabe Gross shattered the final round, cranking out 11 long balls to take first place.The 2010 Auburn baseball team ended the night with a 9-inning scrimmage.
Friday night was better than Saturday night.
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