BOSTON (CBS) — The 2013 sports year in Boston is coming full circle on this week’s Sports Illustrated cover.
The magazine featured three Boston police officers on its cover on April 22, an iconic photograph taken in the immediate aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings. This week, the three officers are back on the cover, this time posing on the field at Fenway Park with World Series MVP, behind the headline, “Boston’s Finest Hour: From a team divided to a city united.
“If any one person were to lead the Red Sox and — given the team’s cultural importance in New England — by extension Bostonians through a terrible time, it was a man with an outsized capacity for resilience,” SI senior writer Tom Verducci wrote in the cover story. “The grind of a 162-game season played in a 182-day window, followed by the wilds of postseason play, would test even Lewis and Clark. But among baseball’s 109 world champions there has never been a story of resilience quite like this one.
“No team — not the 1969 Mets, not the ’91 Twins — has won the World Series in the year after being as bad as the Red Sox were in 2012 (.426 winning percentage). And only six months before the Series — just a half mile east on the same street where Ortiz was applauded — two pressure-cooker bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people, wounding 264 others and terrorizing hundreds of thousands. Four days later the citizenry was ordered to ‘shelter in place’ during a daylong citywide lockdown, while a manhunt for the bombers proceeded. The pleasant routines of life, including baseball, were put on hold.”
Back in April, Boston police officers Javier Pagan and Rachel McGuire and detective Kevin McGill were on the cover of SI, with the simple headline of “Boston.” The photo remains one of the most powerful images from the bombings, a perfect photographic capture of the courage and heroism that immediately spread on Boylston Street that day. Jonny Gomes appeared on a regional SI cover the following week, wearing a jersey with “Boston” written across the chest and the word “Strong” written beneath.
The presence of the police standing side-by-side with Ortiz on this cover is a symbol of how far the city has come in the past seven months.
“This year … will be remembered for far more than just a title,” SI’s Ted Keith wrote. “It will be about how a team helped a city smile again.”