Ortiz wants to visit Marathon finish line Monday
BOSTON -- David Ortiz wants to visit the Boston Marathon finish line Monday after the Red Sox are done with their Patriots' Day game against Baltimore.
Just over a year ago, two bombs went off near the finish line, less than a mile from Fenway Park, about an hour after the Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays. Three people were killed and more than 260 injured.
"After the game, we used to stick around and go down Boylston [Street]," Ortiz said Friday. "I'm going to pick out a spot where I can see things, or whatever, because I love to go down there."
The Red Sox play the Orioles on Monday in their traditional 11 a.m. Patriots' Day start.
Red Sox teammate Jonny Gomes figures attention will be on the finish line, especially this year.
"That's probably going to be the hottest place in the country to be," he said.
Gomes and then-teammate Jarod Saltalamaccia were credited for coming up with the "Boston Strong" phrase last year as the city recovered from the bombing. The club put it on the back of a gray road jersey with the number 617, the city's area code.
Six months later, the pair stepped off a duck boat during the parade that followed Boston's third World Series title in 10 seasons. They draped a jersey over the championship trophy at the finish line.
"I think it was extremely remarkable what we were able to do, bring the World Series trophy down to that finish line," Gomes said. "It is what it is with history in the history books. History in general is built among tragedy. There's not to many success stories in the history books. That event is now part of Boston history and U.S. history."
Five days after the bombings, Ortiz spoke emotionally to the Fenway Park crowd at the Boston's first home game after the bombings. The Red Sox honored first responders, and Ortiz told fans: "Nobody is going to dictate our freedom," bringing a loud cheer from the crowd.
"Patriots' Day is one of the most beautiful days around here," he said Friday. "I think Monday is going to be a day that everybody's going to focus as a citizen, focusing on the history of what happened before. I think it's going to be very emotional and there's going to be happiness around, too, more than sadness, because of the way this city bounced back.
"The frustration that we had a year ago: People learned from that and people learned that this is the place to be because how everybody got behind each other, supported each other and recovered from it."