San Francisco Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt and Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Jamey Carroll came together for a joint message on behalf of their teams: This rivalry must stay on the field, without violence and hatred.
Players from both clubs gathered on the pitcher’s mound Monday night before their series opener at AT&T Park to make clear there should be no repeat of the events following their season opener March 31 in which longtime Giants fan Bryan Stow was assaulted outside Dodger Stadium and left in a medically induced coma.
With heightened security at the waterfront ballpark, the teams took the field for a game dedicated to the 42-year-old Stow, a paramedic from nearby Santa Cruz and father of two.
“There’s no room in this game for hatred and violence. It is about respect,” Carroll told the sellout crowd, which applauded his remarks. “This is America’s national pastime, and let’s keep it that way.”
A photo of Stow showed on the main center-field scoreboard along with his two children as both teams removed their caps in a quiet moment of reflection.
San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy hoped that gesture would provide a positive sign to fans about sportsmanship.
“We’re playing each other and we’re competitive and rivals but let’s leave it at that,” Bochy said.