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David Ortiz punctuates Red Sox pregame ceremony with authority

04.20.13 at 2:48 pm ET
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The moments leading up the  Red Sox’ game with the Royals were flush with emotions, with David Ortiz offering the punctuation for the events with a spirited speech in front of the sell-out crowd at Fenway Park.

“All right. All right Boston. This jersey that we wear today, it doesn’t say Red Sox. It says Boston,” he said. “We want to thank you Mayor [Thomas] Menino, Governor [Deval] Patrick, the whole police department for the great job they did this past week. This is our [expletive] city and nobody is going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong.” (Video possesses strong language.)

Following a moving montage of the events that transpired since the Boston Marathon bombing, the ceremony began with a collection of Boston Marathon volunteers lining up along the left field warning track. Then, with both teams lined up in front of their respective dugouts along the baselines, the participants in the first-pitch portion event took the field.

- Representing firefighters, paramedics, veterans and everyday citizens who amid sudden danger, chose to rescue others: Matt Patterson, a firefighter from Lynn who is a paramedic and an Army veteran of the war in Afghanistan. He was at Abe and Louie’s restaurant and jumped into help, including saving a little boy’s life.

- Lowell native and Lowell High grad Steven Byrne on Monday was with his two best friends and their sisters, standing on Boylston, when they heard the first explosion. He was shielding the sisters when, suddenly, the second explosion threw him over a fence, lit his clothes on fire and sent shrapnel into his face and neck. He was rushed to Beth Israel Deaconess. There, a trauma surgeon performed emergency surgery and saved his life. He represented his two friends, each of whom lost a leg, and all who are on that road to recovery.

- Representing all the runners were father and son Dick and Rick Hoyt. Dick has pushed his son’s wheelchair across the Boylston Street finish line for 31 years. Together, they are determined to be back on Boylston in 2014.

Governor Patrick then proceeded to join the first-pitch participants (who would throw to Will Middlebrooks, Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia). He was joined shortly thereafter by members of law enforcement. Among them were:

Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis, the Boston Police Command Staff, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley, Massachusetts State Police Lieutenant Colonel Jim Hanafin, Watertown Police Chief Ed Deveau and FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard DesLauriers, as well as officers representing hundreds from Boston, Watertown, and throughout Massachusetts.

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