Cincinnati Reds' Todd Frazier Pays Tribute to James Gandolfini

By Ben Grimaldi
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

The news of actor James Gandolfini’s death was a shock to many of us who loved his work on television and film. Gandolfini’s most popular role as Tony Soprano on “The Sopranos,” was arguably one of the best characters, and shows, on TV in a long time. His death was bound to impact people in all walks of life, including the sporting world.

Today, Cincinnati Reds third baseman Todd Frazier paid tribute to Gandolfini by having the Sopranos theme song played as he walked up to the plate. The song, ‘Woke Up This Morning,’ was played over the PA system throughout the stadium as Frazier’s name was announced.

I’m not sure how many people in Cincinnati understood the song reference but it was a classy move from Frazier, who hails from Toms River, New Jersey. Gandolfini also grew up in New Jersey, where “The Sopranos” show took place. Even furthering their connection, both Frazier and Gandofini attended Rutgers University.

With his gesture, Frazier added to the many tributes that have been paid to Gandolfini in the past 24 hours since the news of his death broke. We often hear stories about how athletes want to be entertainers and vice versa, and this tribute may show us just how true that may be.

In a move that would have made ‘the family’ happy, Frazier’s gesture was a sign of respect from one Jersey guy to another. And if we learned anything during the six seasons of “The Sopranos,” it was to treat Tony with respect. Frazier was able to do that today.

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