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October 22, 2013

Boston Strong: Red Sox ride wave of good feelings

(Continued)

Inside the Red Sox clubhouse, the tribute goes on.

Shane Victorino, whose grand slam clinched the AL championship series against Detroit, wore a "B Strong" shirt that read, "In support of all victims." Enlarged copies of Jonny Gomes' "Boston Strong" Sports Illustrated cover are all around. Above Mike Napoli's locker is a patch from the Boston police, who helped apprehend suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after a daylong, city-wide lockdown.

"What I can tell you is that I don't know that one can be more proud of how the players have acted, reacted to the people who have been affected," Steinberg said. "They took the initiative, shunning the help that we might typically give them."

Three people were killed and more than 260 wounded in the attacks; an MIT police officer was also killed in a shootout during the manhunt. Even before they returned from the three-day road trip, the Red Sox sent their best wishes back to Boston, posing in the visitors' clubhouse with a "B Strong" banner; a Red Sox jersey reading "Boston Strong" with the city's 617 area code hung in the dugout for that game.

And then, when the team returned from Cleveland, the franchise that defined baseball selfishness decades ago with the expression "25 players, 25 cabs" split into five groups of five and visited the five local hospitals where the bombing victims were being treated.

"These guys were able to throw a city on its backs — follow us, we're going to help out any way possible," Gomes said. "I'm just so fortunate that I'm in a position where I have a profession that I can do that to people. But, at the same time, you've got to remember the four people that aren't able to come to a game again and their families and their legends they left behind. We know that in the back of our head there's four angels up above pulling for us."

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