The Red Sox are in Cleveland on Tuesday night to take on the Indians, but it was obvious that everyone involved in the contest had their hearts back in Boston, where the city is still dealing with the aftermath of bombings at the end of Monday's Boston Marathon.
In an effort to honor the victims of the tragic bombing, the Red Sox showed their support by hanging a jersey with Boston's area code (617) in their dugout at Progressive Field (via Red Sox Instagram):
Third baseman Will Middlebrooks inscribed a slogan that has been floating around the web, "Boston Strong," on his cleats prior to the game:
Two bombs struck near the finish line of the marathon on Monday afternoon, just hours after the first finishers ended their day. The tragedy, which left three dead (including a child) and over 180 injured at last count, according to Michael Pearson of CNN, has been described as an act of terror by President Obama.
A holiday in Boston, the marathon has become a bastion of glory in one of the United States' most storied cities. The attack has left many inside Boston and across the nation reeling, but even more showing their outpouring of support.
The New York Yankees, long Boston's arch nemesis on the field, were among the most supportive teams, making it be known at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday we are all Bostonians, per the team's official Twitter feed:
In addition, the Yankees Stadium crowd honored Boston by singing "Sweet Caroline," a Fenway staple, in the third inning, per ESPN's Rick Reilly:
Wonderful gesture: Yankees to play the Red Sox' "Sweet Caroline" tonight after 3rd inning of D-Backs game.— Rick Reilly (@ReillyRick) April 16, 2013
Even the Progressive Field scoreboard adorned the "Boston Strong" slogan, as noted by Buzzfeed's Andrew Kaczynski:
Indians' scoreboard for game vs. Red Sox: Boston Strong. twitter.com/BuzzFeedAndrew…— Andrew Kaczynski (@BuzzFeedAndrew) April 16, 2013
It's oftentimes events like what transpired on Monday are needed to put sports in perspective. Rivalries and the win-loss column matter; it's impossible to say that they don't.
However, by showing their support, the Red Sox, Indians, Yankees and all other teams across the nation are showing that we are humans first and competitors second. If there is any sports story worth celebrating and applauding, it's the nation coming together to honor those affected by Monday's senseless tragedy.