By Tom Verducci
April 21, 2014
Marc Fucarile, a survivor of last year's Boston Marathon bombing, threw out the first pitch on Monday.
Michael Ivins/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

No other sport binds us like baseball, as we have been reminded in times of war and in September of 2001. This truth is especially evident in Boston, where the cultural import of the Red Sox on this region is stronger than anywhere else in major league baseball. The Red Sox arranged a touching commemorative ceremony Sunday night before their game against Baltimore. People wept nearly as much as they cheered, with the playing field entirely filled with the truly brave: not the athletes, but the first responders, survivors and their families. On Monday the Red Sox turned the page. The day became more about taking back Patriots Day from the darkness of last year and into the light of the future.

Jonny Gomes brought the World Series trophy to the finish line of the marathon last fall.
Elise Amendola/AP

On this Patriots Day, though, it was hard to linger on such faults. There were 32,408 people running the Marathon and 37,513 people watching the Red Sox. All were inspired. The people at the Fens were on their feet when Mike Carp swung at a pitch from Baltimore closer Tommy Hunter with two strikes, two outs and two on in the bottom of the ninth. Carp hit a ground ball to first baseman Chris Davis, who easily turned into the final out of the game. A low groan came over the ancient grandstands, and quickly faded. It wasn't a day to complain. Patriots Day was back. There was blue sky above, and for as far as anybody could see.

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