“The three big holidays — Thanksgiving, Christmas and opening day,” LA co-owner Stan Kasten said, watching the stands at Dodger Stadium fill up before the game against World Series champion San Francisco.
A few minutes later, a stadium camera swung to Vin Scully’s booth, where he’s starting his 64th season, and the revered broadcaster pronounced: “It’s time for Dodger baseball.”
Dodgers co-owner Magic Johnson was standing on the mound before the game when manager Don Mattingly came out and signaled for a reliever. In came Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax wearing his No. 32 vintage jersey, and the ol’ left-hander threw out the first ball to former Dodgers ace Orel Hershiser.
There was a lot more to remember and honor, too.
Players, managers, coaches, umpires and everyone else in uniform wore patches in tribute to those killed last December in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
At Yankee Stadium, the names of the 20 children and six educators who died scrolled on the video board in center field during a moment of silence. The honor guard included members of Newtown police and firefighters.
Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo had a patch attached to a lapel on his pinstriped charcoal suit. It has the seal of Newtown, a picture of a black ribbon and 26 little black stars, each representing a victim of that shooting.
“It’s so we don’t forget about the people in Newtown,” Rizzo said, tapping the patch with his hand. “It honors them and keeps them in our thoughts.”
At Citi Field in New York, the Mets honored hundreds of Hurricane Sandy responders and volunteers in a pregame ceremony. A large orange heart with a blue NY logo was placed in center field and storm volunteers wearing white shirts lined up around it in the shape of home plate.