NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

August 21, 2013

Marathon responders and war vets play at Fenway

(Continued)

Boston Police sergeant Bobby Ridge, whose leg bears the scars of an on-duty car accident when he was a rookie, was assigned the medical tent just off the marathon finish line when he heard the first explosion — and felt the shockwaves in his chest. He arrived at the bombing site as the second blast went off.

“I could see all the people stampeding away, saw some bad stuff — the worst thing I ever saw in my life,” he said. “I hope I never see it again.”

But the opportunity to play at Fenway is the kind of thing that helps him forget, Ridge said.

The softball field was laid out within the regular Fenway diamond, with a 50-foot pitcher’s mound and 70-foot base paths. The teams lined up along the baselines for the national anthem, then remained at attention when the music was done to watch the color guard exit the field.

Red Sox groundskeeper Dave Mellor stopped by to wish the teams luck.

“I really appreciate everything you do for us,” he told the first responders, “and I hope you create some good memories tonight.”

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