Red Sox fans gather at Boston Marathon finish line during World Series victory celebration

David Brown
Big League Stew

Players mean it metaphorically when they call a Major League Baseball season a marathon. It starts in mid-February and ends around Nov. 1. It's a grind, especially mentally. To players, officials and fans of the Boston Red Sox, the Boston Marathon always will have a special relationship with baseball. Not only because of the traditions of Patriots Day in the city but also, sadly, because of what happened April 15 when two bombs exploded near the finish line.

Not surprisingly, when the celebration of the Red Sox clinching a championship by winning Game 6 of the World Series at Fenway Park on Wednesday night spilled onto the streets of Boston, many made their way to Boylston Street and the Marathon's finish line. Fans posed for pictures, gave each other hugs and kissed the pavement where the race ended. In April, the finish line was the scene of the worst kind of human behavior. On Wednesday, it reverted to what it was meant to be: A place to celebrate the human spirit.

Red Sox manager John Farrell recognizes the role his team has played:

"There's I think a civil responsibility that we have wearing this uniform, particularly here in Boston," Farrell said. "And it became a connection initially, the way our guys reached out to individuals or to hospital visits. And it continued to build throughout the course of the season. I think our fans, they got to a point where they appreciated the way we played the game, how they cared for one another. And in return they gave these guys an incredible amount of energy to thrive on in this ballpark."

Not everyone behaved, of course. Police said nine people were arrested, and more probably could have been, after rowdies turned over at least one car and spread chaos. But that wasn't how most celebrated.

Thought it can be overstated, the role sports can play in healing emotional scars of seemingly unrelated horrific events should not be dismissed outright. Not here. Like the Yankees' run to the Series after 9/11, the Red Sox winning appeared to ease the burden some have carried since the terrorist bombings. At least a little bit. At least for a while.

Boston Strong.

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David Brown is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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