American sports fans had their eyes glued to the Boston Red Sox/Kansas City Royals game this afternoon. Less than 24 hours after authorities apprehended the remaining Boston Marathon bomber, the Red Sox took the field. Donning honorary jerseys and patches (which the Royals wore as well), the Red Sox began the Boston healing process. Baseball has long been coined America’s pastime. While the NFL may be more popular and generate more revenue, baseball holds a special place in America’s heart. Whether it’s the history of the game, the nostalgia of the parks, or the distinct smell that comes from walking through the gates, when baseball is being played, America is right. Due to the manhunt on Friday, the Red Sox game was postponed. Saturday, baseball was back in Boston, and the healing is officially underway.
Players dream about making the perfect pitch, driving in the winning run, or stealing a vital base. While executing all the aforementioned plays strokes players’ egos and brings fans to their feet, what Daniel Nava did Saturday afternoon stands out. On arguably the most emotional sports day in Boston history, Nava stepped to the plate with 2 men on and 2 men out and the Red Sox down by 1. Nava proceeded to put a 1-1 changeup into the bullpen in right field. Fans, players, and especially Nava celebrated with fist pumps, high fives, and hugs as the Red Sox took the lead and went on to win the game. A game winning home run is one thing, but a home run to lift a healing city on it’s way to recovery is quite another. Nava’s home run will go down in Red Sox lore just like their magical playoff run did. The emotion Nava displayed running the bases wasn’t just his, it was the entire city’s. After having their happiness bottled up for days, Nava finally allowed Bostonians to let it all out.