A community project hosted at Northeastern University

"Our City": Boston and The Boston Red Sox

Sports represent the pulse of our country, of our cities. During World War II, President Roosevelt did not suspend baseball in order to keep up the morale of soldiers. While many grew concerned the sport wasted troops strength, service members like Private Clifford P Mansfield at Fort Knox, Kentucky wrote, "For the morale of the soldier and the morale of America itself, 'keep 'em playing'." In 1980, the United States “Miracle” hockey team beat the 6-time champion Soviet Union team. Then as now, many Americans believed that moment represented a turning point in the Cold War. Similarly, in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina pummeled the city of New Orleans, the New Orleans Saints went on to a franchise record season and a Super Bowl victory in 2009, reinvigorating a still recovering community.

The power of sports to provide hope, excitement, and optimism is profound and deserves consideration when trying to understand the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing experience. On October 4, 2013, the Boston Red Sox honored Marathon survivors, first responders, and volunteers in a ceremony before the start of the American League Divisional Series against the Tampa Bay Rays. This was one of many tributes paid by the Red Sox to those affected by the Marathon bombings in the months following the attacks, as the team became closely associated with the city's healing process. This connection can be seen in the incorporation of Red Sox themes into memorials throughout the city.

Ryan Shea contributed the photo above: a cropped version of the photo photo can be found here in the archive. The ten highlighted sections of the image guide readers to Red Sox-related items in the archive and provide an overview of the importance of this team to Boston and its people. Use the directional pad on the left side of the screen to move the image and its annotations.

Do you have a story about the Red Sox, or a photo from the days, weeks, or months after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings? Share your story with Our Marathon.

This exhibit was created by Claudia Faith Willett using Neatline. The original idea for this exhibit and its original layout came from Andrew Begley. Help with exhibit consultation and editing provided by Jim McGrath. Special thanks to Northeastern University's Archives and Special Collections and the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Simmons College for making Claudia and Andrew's work on this exhibit possible.

Note: Our Marathon is not affiliated in any way with Major League Baseball or the Boston Red Sox organization.