Monday night, May 2nd was quite a night at Fenway. Close to midnight the night before we learned that Osama Bin Laden had been killed by Navy Seals. The Monday night game was the first public gathering in Boston since the news broke, and the display of patriotism was truly remarkable.
Prior to the National Anthem they dropped that huge American flag over the left field wall - the one they use for Opening Day and the World Series. There was a moment of silence for all those who perished in the 9/11 attacks and the years of subsequent war. Soldiers who had returned from five tours of duty were honored, and the crowd chanted, "U-S-A...U-S-A...U-S-A!!!!" They did it again after "God Bless America" (usually only sung during Sunday games) during the 7th inning stretch.
It was also a fun game. The Sox opened the season with the worst record in the majors. Now, a month later, there are 9 teams that have a worse record than the Red Sox. And they're tied for 4th place in the AL East - meaning they're not last. Tonight, if they win and Toronto loses, the Sox will have sole possession of 4th place. We're #4, we're #4!
Simultaneously, the Bruins played Game 2 of their playoff series in Philadelphia. The crowd at Fenway was kept up to speed with the score posted on the hand-operated left-field scoreboard and highlights were shown on the huge new HD video screen. Many fans were wearing the color clash of red-and-blue Sox shirts and black-and-gold B's hats. The B's won in OT just as Okajima recorded the final out in the 9th for the Red Sox win.
A fun night all around, but the most remarkable thing was the overwhelming display of patriotism. The biggest I've seen in almost a decade.
Tuesday night update: Not only did the Red Sox win again, but both Toronto and Baltimore lost. So Boston is now in sole possession of 3rd place, only four games out, and there are 10 teams with worse records.