BOSTON >> Bomb-sniffing dogs and military in camouflage fatigues joined the police patrolling Fenway Park today, when the Red Sox dressed in a specially designed uniform for their first home game since the Boston Marathon attacks and the ensuing manhunt that shut down their wounded city.
A logo on the Green Monster, Fenway’s 37-foot-high left-field wall, urged the city to “B Strong,” and the ballclub wore home white uniforms that said “Boston” in the stylized Old English font instead of the “Red Sox” that has appeared there for decades. The team said the uniforms would be autographed and auctioned off to raise money for the One Fund Boston, the charity established to help the victims.
“This is a city that will count on us, and I understand that,” outfielder Shane Victorino said before the game. “You might not see smiles on people’s faces, but you understand this is a trying time. This is a time for people in the city to embrace themselves and to go out there and be a part of that for this city.”
Two bombs exploded near the Back Bay finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, killing three people and wounding more than 180 others. Police identified two suspects; one was killed and the other was captured during a manhunt that shut down the city and surrounding area for most of Friday.
The Red Sox postponed Friday night’s game against the Kansas City Royals; it will be made up as part of a day-night doubleheader on Sunday. The Boston Bruins, who played on Thursday night, pushed back Friday’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins to Saturday afternoon.
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma met with reporters before the game wearing a black T-shirt with words “Boston Strong” over his shirt and tie.
“I feel like we’re playing with the Bruins today, not against them,” Bylsma said. “I know I share their pride yesterday in their city and their people and certainly their law enforcement yesterday. I’m certainly not a Bostonian, but I certainly share in that pride and hope to today with them as well.”
Security was tight at Fenway and at the TD Garden, as it was when the Bruins made their emotional return after the bombing. The Red Sox planned a pregame ceremony to commemorate the attack.
A SWAT team member with a German shepherd stood guard at the doorway to the tunnel leading to Royals dugout about 2½ 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.
Across, town the Bruins took the ice for their pregame warmup wearing baseball caps for the Boston and state police, along with one for the police in Watertown, where the suspect was captured, featuring the Bruins’ “Spoked B” logo and the word “Strong” on the back.