First Home Run After the Marathon Bombings
Okay, I lied earlier. This is the final home run on the list that didn’t win a game of significance in the standings, but make no mistake that this home run was vitally important. The Boston Marathon bombings had occurred on April 15, 2013 and everyone in New England was affected by it whether they lived in Boston or not.
After postponing their games for the entire week, the Red Sox were back in action at Fenway Park on April 20, 2013 for their first game after the bombings. The game was kicked off by David Ortiz giving a rousing speech to the crowd before proclaiming on live television that “this is our ****ing city!” I remember watching this live and being really moved by his words.
Then the Red Sox took on the Kansas City Royals and were losing 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth when Daniel Nava stepped to the plate. With runners at the corners and two outs, he belted a 1-1 pitch into the bullpens in right field for a 4-2 lead and the first home run since before the bombings. The outpouring of emotion between the team and crowd was epic as was Don Orsillo’s call of “Boston, this one is for you!”
While this game wasn’t important in terms of the standings, it was exactly what the fans of New England needed and it galvanized the 2013 team who would ride that momentum all the way to the most improbable World Series win in Red Sox history. Boston Strong became their rallying cry and it really did feel like they won it for the region that year. Nava’s home run was the spark that ignited the fire.