The Home Stretch
One of the biggest home runs for David Ortiz and Boston Red Sox tied Game 2 of the American League Championship Series on Sunday night, but Monday morning the big attention and media focus wasn’t on Ortiz the way it would be expected.
There was no photo of him celebrating on the front page of The Boston Globe on Monday or Page 1 of the sports section. Instead there was a photo of a 50-year-old man with his hands up in the air. It was Steve Horgan, a Boston cop for 27 years celebrating as Detroit’s Torii Hunter missed catching Ortiz’s home run that will likely be part of Red Sox. The line above the photo and game story read “Boston’s finest.”
Let’s rewind to April, less than two weeks after the 2013 MLB regular season started. At 2:49 EDT on April 15 two pressure cooker bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people. First responders to the scene included members of the public, paramedics, firefighters and, of course, Boston police officers.
It showed the bad in this world, but ultimately went on to show how kind and loving people are, even to complete strangers. It was tough for the city to get through, but it brought people together; as they would say “stronger.”
Back to Sunday’s game. The photo of Horgan, with his arms above his head in celebration, went viral. Boston Strong has become a major symbol for the city. It is on the Green Monster at Fenway Park and has been put on the grass in centerfield throughout the season.
This was just another symbol for this city to rally around. It was perfect timing that Hunter had his legs in the air as he went over the bullpen wall, while Horgan stood with his arms up. He said in interviews after the occasion that he’s celebrated before, but it was the symbol captured by Boston Globe photographer Stan Grossfeld that made this celebration that much better.
The city came together after the bombings and right now they are rallied around the Boston Red Sox. Last season if a police officer puts his hands up in the bullpen to celebrate a home run it wouldn’t have had the same significance it does now because the city had to rebound from the bombs at the Boston Marathon earlier this summer.
I highly doubt he realized that it would become this big a deal when he put his hands up, as he was just celebrating naturally, but the image of Horgan will likely be huge as the Red Sox hope to take another run at the World Series.
It definitely is a big deal because the Boston Police Commissioner said he will be assigned to the bullpen for the duration of the playoffs. Let’s go Red Sox, win it for your city.
Christopher Cameron is the sports reporter for The News and can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @NGNewsChris.