The “Boston Strong” movement — part Twitter trending topic, part civic rallying cry — has taken up residence in the Red Sox dugout.
A grey jersey bearing the slogan — along with the “617” area code in navy lettering — hung in the visiting dugout at Progressive Field throughout Boston’s 7-2 win over Cleveland Tuesday night.
The jersey became a touchstone during the first sporting event involving a Boston pro team after Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon. It was displayed near the center of the clubhouse after the game and likely will remain with the team for the foreseeable future.
Multiple people within the organization were involved in creating the remembrance, including home clubhouse manager Tom McLaughlin. Red Sox designated hitter Jonny Gomes, who keeps the area code of his California hometown on his glove and cleats, suggested including “617” – the first digits of many Boston phone numbers.
“Just something to let the people know,” Gomes said. “They’re out of sight right now, but definitely not out of mind. How far is that jersey going to stretch? I don’t know. Just the fact of letting those people know we’ve got a heavy heart over here.
“Today, we had ‘BOSTON’ across our chest. We didn’t have our own individual names. We’re representing the whole community and the area.”
Gomes said the jersey is “pretty fitting, as a community, versus an individual or an event. It’s everyone.”
The Red Sox, who learned of the explosions as they left Fenway Park after Monday’s game, return home Friday to play the Kansas City Royals. The NHL’s Boston Bruins will host the city’s first major sporting event since the attack Wednesday night against the Buffalo Sabres.
“Given what’s taken place, this is fresh on everyone’s mind,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “Even though we may not be in Boston right now, we carry this with us. We feel very much a part of the city of Boston, the community and everything that goes on there. We have not forgotten by any means.
“There was talk before the game in the clubhouse, talk of how guys could possibly reach out and be help to some who are in need. ‘How can we contribute? How can we get involved?’ I know, as an organization, we’ll do something much larger. This is being carried by each guy — evident by the thought to put the jersey together, which everyone saw hanging in the dugout. Guys are very conscious of what’s taken place.”