Blue Jays honour victims of deadly van attack with brief tribute
TORONTO -- The Toronto Blue Jays honoured the victims of Monday's deadly van attack, and the first responders who rushed to the scene of the tragedy, with a brief tribute before Tuesday night's game against the Boston Red Sox.
Players from both teams stood in front of the dugouts as Toronto police officers and two paramedics stood between second base and the pitching mound and were introduced to cheering fans. Following a video message and a moment of silence, a group of high school students sang the national anthems.
A blue banner reading ".TORONTOSTRONG" was hung from the second deck in centre field, and similar signs were hung on the wall behind home plate.
Ten people were killed and 14 injured when a driver plowed a rented van into a on along a crowded sidewalk. It was the worst mass killing in Canada since Dec. 6, 1989, when a man shot 14 women at the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal before turning the gun on himself.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons called news of Monday's attack "brutal," while Red Sox manager Alex Cora said "it makes you sick just to think about it."
Commissioner Rob Manfred, who happened to be in Toronto on Tuesday, said Major League Baseball was "devastated" by the events.
"You were in our thoughts all day yesterday and will remain there for some time," Manfred said about two hours before the first pitch. "I hope that maybe our game tonight will provide a little bit of the beginning of a healing process that will be important for this city."