Gay vs. AutoZone Park

AutoZone Park is beginning to turn into Memphis’ version of what I imagine ESPN’s company cafeteria looks like. We don’t have Stuart Scott roaming around or anything, but these days you never really know what sports star is going to be at the ballpark.

In the same weekend that brought all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman to Memphis to face the ‘Birds as a member of the Sounds, Memphis was lucky enough to have Grizzlies star Rudy Gay show up Friday to take some swings during the team’s batting practice session.

Gay’s appearance was spurred on by a bet he made with his cousin over whether he could hit a homer. The basketball star, of course, thought it would not be a problem, while his cousin pretty much held on to the belief that Gay should stick to what he knows.

After a couple of healthy whiffs, Gay made some solid contact and proved his athletic career might not be relegated to just putting balls in baskets. Turns out he’s pretty good at belting them over fences, too. The Grizzly sent one soaring into the bluff a la Albert Pujols and showed his athleticism stretches well beyond the hardwood.

In following with how most of us would act if we could do the same thing, he proudly trotted across the bases explaining to everyone that he did, in fact, just hit a home run.

The guy seemed pretty great. Gay mingled with the team and generally soaked up the ballpark vibe like everyone else, just from a higher altitude.

Alex was on-hand for photographic documentation of the event:


Rudy Gay steps out of the dugout for the first time, revealing his personalized jersey.


The temporary Redbird meets with the press prior to practice.


Gay steps up to the plate, hitting in a rotation with Joe Mather and Matt Pagnozzi.

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The Swing.


Rudy Gay talking with Bryan Anderson about finding some batting gloves.

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