The Boston Red Sox pulled out all of the stops to make sure that the team’s first game in Boston since the tragic Boston Marathon bombings would be remembered. The team knew that all of the nation would be watching to see how the team and the city reacted upon their return.
This was the perfect time for “Big Papi” David Ortiz to play his first game of the season, after sitting out the season’s first three weeks with an injury. As it has been for his entire career in Boston; Ortiz came through in the clutch. He was the final speaker in a touching pre-game ceremony. He capped off his speech by making a statement that brought the crowd to its feet. Ortiz spoke to the crowd and said in no uncertain terms and using an expletive that Boston belonged to the people and that they wouldn’t be intimidated by anyone else. He wrapped up his address with “Stay strong.” No one minded his language, the entire crowd was there to escape the tension and celebrate the cities recovery.
The Red Sox also wore special home uniforms adorned with a “B Strong” patch and had the cities name across the front instead of their normal home game jerseys. The special jerseys were only to be worn in this game with the Kansas City Royals and will be auctioned off to support a fund set up for the survivors who suffered injuries. The Red Sox even had Neil Diamond sing “Sweet Caroline”, a Fenway Park favorite, during the middle of the eighth inning.
Ortiz came through with his bat as well. He had two hits, including a game tying single in the sixth inning. Clay Buchholz pitched a masterful game to win his 4th game of the season and outfielder Daniel Nava hit a game winning three run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to put the Red Sox ahead. When Shortstop, Stephen Drew, fielding Alex Gordon’s ground ball and threw to first base for the final out, the 101 year old stadium was louder than ever. There were few dry eyes in the stands and in the Red Sox dugout as the emotions and tears of happiness flowed freely.