There were signs of change.
Security was heightened. Earlier in the day, police dogs checked the ballpark. Officers in bright yellow jackets seemed to be at every turn. Fans were wanded down at the entrances.
But there were signs that the day obviously meant more.
It took a 4:30 a.m. flight for Neil Diamond to make it to Boston from Los Angeles. Then, he called into the main Fenway Park switchboard and asked if he could sing “Sweet Caroline.” The crowd was his choir.
As much as it meant to come away with the win, everyone understood that there was a bigger victory in just being there.
“I wanted to win this game today badly,” Ortiz said. “I’ve had a lot of great moments and emotional situations. Today was different. We had never been through what we went through the past week.’’
Julian Benbow can be reached at email@example.com.