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ALCS opens at electric Fenway Park

Bombings' hero sings anthem; Garciaparra throws first pitch

BOSTON -- Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell received the prestigious honor of singing the national anthem prior to Game 1 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday night at Fenway Park because of her work following the tragic events at this year's Boston Marathon.

Mitchell was working near the finish line of the marathon when the bombings occurred. She became a first responder and played a crucial role in setting up triage to determine the priority of patients' treatments based on the severity of their injuries.

The sold-out crowd on hand to watch the Red Sox open the series against the Tigers greeted Mitchell with a standing ovation as she came onto the field, and a giant American flag was draped over the Green Monster. Mitchell recently received renown for her singing prowess by writing and performing a tribute song for those who lost their lives during the attack.

The fitting tribute was then followed by former Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra making his return to Fenway Park. Garciaparra watched a brief video of his career highlights in a Boston uniform and then threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Garciaparra became a fan favorite during his nine-year career with Boston. He also spent time with the Dodgers, Cubs and A's while posting a .313 average, .361 on-base percentage and 1,747 hits in his 14 seasons in the big leagues.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB.
Read More: Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers