On a normal night at Yankee Stadium, you're not going to hear too many kind words about the city of Boston. Not as long as those blasted Red Sox are stationed there, anyway.
But Tuesday was no normal night at the stadium. In response to the horrible tragedy that occurred on Monday during the Boston Marathon, the Yankees organization had nothing but love in its heart for its longtime rivals.
For at least one day, there is no rivalry. Just fellowship in a time when it is needed.
The Yankees tweeted a picture of a sign they're displaying outside Yankee Stadium:
New York Yankees @Yankees
We stand united with the @RedSox: http://t.co/RgMKEOxRmR4/16/2013, 8:34:10 PM
They decided to further honor Boston with a moment of silence, and they even played a favorite of the Fenway Faithful following the third inning of their tilt against the Arizona Diamondbacks:
New York Yankees @Yankees
Our thoughts are with the Boston community. Tonight there will be a special moment of silence & Fenway favorite Sweet Caroline @ end of 3rd.4/16/2013, 6:58:17 PM
This gesture didn't go unnoticed by the Red Sox:
Boston Red Sox @RedSox
.@yankees Thank you! We appreciate your support.4/16/2013, 7:32:23 PM
"Sweet Caroline" was played as planned. The YES Network cameras showed some fans looking somber and others smiling. Not everyone was singing, but nobody was objecting. In all, the images reflected the gravity of the moment.
We saw something like this happen at Fenway Park about a dozen years ago. As Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com recalled in 2011, Red Sox fans sang "New York, New York" at Fenway following the 9/11 attacks in 2001. The song is played after every Yankees home game, just as "Sweet Caroline" is played in the middle of the eighth at all Red Sox home games.
Looking beyond the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry was the only thing to do in that instance. It just didn't matter. What mattered was that there were people in New York who were hurting, and they needed support.
The same thing was happening after the third inning at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night. Baseball wasn't important. Only people mattered.
Now, thousands of people died in the 9/11 attacks. The two bombs that went off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday afternoon killed three people and wounded over 180 others, according to the latest from CNN. In times like these, baseball is petty and even kind gestures only mean so much.
But they don't count for nothing.
There are many, many people in Boston who could use a good heartwarming moment, and it doesn't get much more heartwarming than the Yankees throwing their arm around the city their most hated rivals call home.
There was a lot of love for Boston in the air at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night. It's not going to be taken for granted. Or quickly forgotten.
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