America’s two most storied baseball teams will set aside their rivalry on opening day to honor the victims of the Newtown, Conn., massacre. On April 1, the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox will start their season by commemorating the 26 people killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December.
Pregame ceremonies will include a moment of silence, at which time the center-field scoreboard will feature the victims’ names, and an acknowledgment of Newtown police and firefighters. The players will also wear special ribbons on their uniforms--a tribute that baseball commissioner Bud Selig has asked of all other 28 major league teams to wear for their opening games as well.
"On opening day, we will reflect upon more important things and play the game to honor the community of Newtown," said Hal Steinbrenner, Yankees managing general partner, in a statement. "Since the day of the tragedy, our hearts and thoughts have been with those who were affected."
Red Sox principal owner John Henry echoed the sentiment. “Months have passed, yet we are still trying to come to grips with this incomprehensible tragedy... We will stand united in support of the families affected as we remember and honor those who were lost."
News of the tribute comes one day after Majority Leader Harry Reid abandoned a divisive assault weapons ban in anticipation of near-certain partisan defeat--proving that uniting behind what Steinbrenner called the “important things” isn’t always so easy.