Monday is a special day in the city of Boston.
For the first time ever, the Red Sox will play a postseason game on the same day of the Boston Marathon, which was moved from Patriots' Day (the third Monday of April) to Monday, Oct. 11, due to COVID.
It certainly won't be a traditional Marathon Monday: The Red Sox' American League Division Series Game 4 matchup with the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park is at 7 p.m. ET, instead of the traditional 11 a.m. start time for Patriots' Day.
The Red Sox still will pay homage to the longtime Boston tradition, though -- by bringing back an old friend.
Former Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks will throw out the ceremonial first pitch Monday ahead of Game 4, he confirmed in an interview with CBS Sports. Middlebrooks was on the 2013 Red Sox team that rallied to win the World Series after the tragic bombings at the 2013 Boston Marathon that April, and he'll apparently be joined Monday night by those impacted by the attack.
"That was a big part of our season that year," Middlebrooks said, referring to the April 2013 bombings. "That pushed us to put the city on our back and somewhat represent the resiliency and perseverance of Boston.
"So, they’re bringing back this old guy to throw out the first pitch and be with some of the Marathon survivors (and) victims’ families. It’s a big day in Boston."
Middlebrooks, who came up in the Red Sox' system and spent three years in Boston from 2012 to 2014, will return to the city with his wife, former NESN sideline reporter Jenny Dell. Needless to say, he's fired up about his homecoming trip, which could see the Red Sox advance to the AL Championship Series if they can beat the Rays.
Whether the Red Sox wear their Boston Marathon-themed "City Connect" uniforms remains to be seen, but either way, the atmosphere at Fenway should be electric.