#PopUps: Meb's First Pitch
The Boston Marathon holds a special place in the hearts of those in the running community and Greater Boston. However, this particular day of cheering marathoners, watching the Red Sox, and a generally relaxed atmosphere was changed on April 15, 2013. Across America and the world, people stopped what they were doing to catch the news of what was happening in Boston. Two bombs ripped through the heart of Boston, only feet from the finish line. Four hours, nine minutes and 43 seconds after the Boston Marathon began, the first bomb went off, followed shortly by the second. The elite runners were long finished and recovering, safely removed from the blasts; the bombs were intended for when the majority of runners would be finishing, around the four-hour mark.
Three died and 264 were injured in the blast.
The Red Sox won their game in Boston that day against the Tampa Bay Rays, 3-2, and left to go play the next day in Cleveland. Maybe it was the sense that Boston needed some good news, maybe it was just the way the game was played, but the next day Boston routed the Indians, 7-2. The Red Sox would sweep the Indians and return to Fenway with a six-game winning streak.
Upon returning from their road trip on Friday April 19, the Red Sox were set to face the Kansas City Royals at Fenway. Yet, that morning, the Boston metropolitan area was placed under a “shelter in place” warning, as multiple police agencies searched for the two bombing suspects. As a result the game was postponed until Sunday, when the two teams would play a day/night doubleheader.
CAPTURED!!! The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won. Suspect in custody.
— Boston Police Dept. (@bostonpolice) April 20, 2013
By the time the Red Sox did take the field in Boston on Saturday April 20, it had been five days since the terrorist attack. The Red Sox showed their support for their home city, its citizens, and those affected by the bombing. The Red Sox quickly created an alternate home uniform to be worn as a show of support for the city of Boston. This jersey looked similar to the standard home jersey, but it included the city name of “BOSTON” across the chest, rather than the standard “RED SOX.”
— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) March 27, 2014
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 2, 2013
The Boston Marathon expanded the total number of runners allowed to compete in 2014 to allow for more to celebrate the city and show that terror would not keep them from running. Among those runners was a young man from Walton, N.Y., Scott Gleason. Scott finished in 74th place overall in a time of 2 Hours, 28 minutes and 12 seconds. Scott’s average mile was covered in 5 minutes and 40 seconds. Upon crossing the finish line, he was presented with the medal below. Any marathon medal is special, but this and the 2013 Boston Marathon medals hold a special place in the hearts of runners across the world.