A SWAT team member with a German shepherd stood guard at the doorway to the tunnel leading to Royals dugout about 2 1/2 hours before game time. A man in military fatigues checked all of the players’ lockers and the many cracks in the ceiling tiles with a flashlight.
Outside, fans milled around, waiting for the gates to open. Several of them were wearing Boston Marathon jackets dating back as long as a decade. Long lines of fans waited to be scanned by metal-detecting wands; many were still waiting to get in when the Red Sox and Royals lined up along the base-lines for the pregame ceremony.
With Boston Athletic Association volunteers in their yellow and blue jackets lined up in front of the Green Monster and police and public officials encircling the mound, ballpark organist Josh Kantor played The Star-Spangled Banner, with the crowd singing along. A giant U.S. flag was draped over the 37-foot-high Green Monster left-field wall, temporarily covering the “B Strong” logo newly painted in left-center field.
Pictures of the victims, including Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer Sean Collier, were shown on the scoreboard, along with pictures from the marathon and the aftermath. Some of the biggest cheers were for the police who tracked down the suspects.
Gov. Deval Patrick and Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis, along with other law enforcement officials and rank-and-file, circled the mound for the ceremonial first pitches from firefighter Matt Patterson, who rushed to the site of the bombings; from Steven Byrne, who was injured in the explosions, and from Dick Hoyt, accompanied by his son Rick, who has cerebral palsy.
Ortiz, who had been on the disabled list all season, took the microphone and showed fans the specially designed uniforms saying “Boston” on the front instead of the “Red Sox” they have worn for decades. Both teams wore patches with the “B Strong” logo.
The Red Sox said their uniforms would be autographed and auctioned off to raise money for the One Fund Boston, the charity established to help the victims. The Boston Celtics, who opened their playoff series against the Knicks with a loss in New York on Saturday, said they would donate $100,000 to the charity, with another $100,000 to come from fundraisers.
The team said fans would be given the option to donate their refund from the canceled April 16 game against Indiana to One Fund Boston.