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Sabres Brian Gionta splits his Western New York baseball allegiances

Brian Gionta will have to switch out baseball caps a few times this month.

The Rochester native donned a Buffalo Bisons cap Monday night to throw out the first pitch at Coca-Cola Field. The Buffalo Sabres captain was on hand with teammate Zemgus Girgensons to sign autographs at the ballpark. It was somewhat awkward that the Rochester Red Wings were in the visiting dugout.

Of course, he will be doing the same thing at Frontier Field with his brother, Stephen, on Aug. 29.

"I saw they're playing against Roch right now. I feel bad," Gionta laughed. "I'm kinda in between both hometowns I guess. I'll be trading hats out."

Gionta said he would go to a couple Rochester Red Wings games a year growing up. He played baseball, but only for two years lured instead by soccer to supplement his hockey.

Now he takes his kids to a few games every summer and goes from player to fan. And quite frankly, he admits he's not as good a fan as he could be.

"It's weird. So me I guess as a fan it's completely opposite from what I want from our fans," Gionta said. "I"m kind of laid back and just watching the game and I'm not the guy up cheering really loud. I try to get the kids to do that but when you're the player you're like, 'aw man everyone's quiet in here today.' That's me. So I guess I've got to be a little better of a fan.

"I've taken batting practice a few times and you see what kind of skill they have and how hard it is and how easy they make it look. You appreciate it a little more."

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