Patrick Grieve
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Somebody Finally Won that Toyota Tundra at the Cincinnati Reds’ Ballpark

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Jay Bruce wins Reds fan a Toyota Tundra truck

Since 2008, Cincinnati-area Toyota dealers have displayed a new Tundra pickup truck in Great American Ball Park. Each home game, one fan is selected to win the truck, should a Reds player blast a home run that hits a sign in right-center field (430 feet from home plate), or manages to dent the vehicle itself (502 ft).

In the eight seasons that the Reds have been running the promotion, nobody has ever won the damned thing.

Probably the best opportunity for a power hitter to smash up the Tundra’s windshield came earlier this summer, when Cincinnati hosted the 2015 Home Run Derby. Sadly, the Toyota was removed from the ballpark during that All-Star week, so as not to upset the MLB’s official automotive sponsor, Chevrolet.

At the end of each season, the unclaimed Tundra has always been donated to local police or firefighters—a worthy cause, but one that consistently leaves the fans empty-handed. So last night, in the interest of greater parity, it was announced that a Reds player need only hit a homer to the right field seats or visitors bullpen in order for a fan whose name was drawn prior to the game to win the truck.

Then, in the bottom of the seventh inning of Thursday night’s game, with the Reds trailing the New York Mets 6 to 3, right fielder Jay Bruce rocketed his 26th dinger of the year into the designated area, winning mustachioed Florence, Kentucky native Rafael Gonzalez a brand new vehicle in the process (watch video of the home run here).

Rafael Gonzalez wins free Toyota Tundra at Cincinnati Reds game

“That’s pretty cool,” Bruce told Fox Sports when informed that his homer had netted a fan a free pickup. “Hopefully he can use it.”

In other news of the game, the fan who played the Belterra Park Gaming “Higher or Lower” challenge during the fifth inning initially lost when asked to guess Aaron Boone’s jersey number, but then successfully challenged the decision, proving that the Reds had mistakenly shown Bret Boone’s number on the Jumbotron. In terms of stadium-wide giveaways, all Reds fans in attendance were tantalizingly close to winning a free small one-topping LaRosa’s pizza, but were ultimately one strikeout short of the 11 Ks required.

Oh, and the Reds lost to the Mets, 6-4.

Patrick Grieve was born in Southwestern Ohio and has lived there all of his life, with the exception of a few years spent getting a Creative Writing degree in Southeastern Ohio. He loves to take road trips, sometimes to places as distant as Northeastern or even Northwestern Ohio. Patrick also enjoys old movies, shopping at thrift stores, going to ballgames, writing about those things, and watching Law & Order reruns. He just watches the original series, though, none of the spin-offs. And also only the ones they made before Jerry Orbach died. Season five was really the peak, in his opinion. See more articles by Patrick.