MLB teams honor Newtown victims before openers

The names, written in script, streamed slowly down on the video

board in center field at Yankee Stadium, of the 20 children and six

educators who died last December during the massacre at Sandy Hook

Elementary School.

Fans in the sellout crowd of nearly 50,000 were on their feet,

silent, as were the players on the field.

”It was tough seeing all those names scroll through,” Red Sox

center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury said.

Before their season opener against the Boston Red Sox on Monday,

the New York Yankees held a tribute to the victims of the Newtown

school shootings and honored first responders who rushed to the

Connecticut school on Dec. 14.

During the moment of silence, the honor guard included members

of Newtown police and firefighters.

Major League Baseball asked all teams to wear patches on their

uniforms during openers to honor the dead and those affected by the

shooting. Each patch includes the Newtown seal, a black memorial

ribbon and 26 small stars.

Washington general manager Mike Rizzo attached a patch to a

lapel on his pinstriped charcoal suit.

”It’s so we don’t forget about the people in Newtown,” Rizzo

said, tapping the patch with his hand. ”It honors them and keeps

them in our thoughts.”

Two of the first responders, Det. Daniel McAnaspie and Det.

Jason Frank, spoke to reporters before the game at Yankee Stadium.

The repercussions of the shooting still are felt by the police,

many in therapy and some not able to work.

”We’re getting each other through the days. We’re getting each

other through the weeks,” the 41-year-old Frank said. ”I can tell

you within my 17-year career, I’ve probably spent more time the

last couple months with individual guys than I have in my entire

career, just for the listening, the laughing, the crying.”

Both wanted to thank others for the support given to their

department and to their community.

”It was overwhelming at times,” said McAnaspie, 35. ”We had

police departments as far away as New Zealand sending gifts, teddy

bears for our kids because we weren’t home for our own families.

… It was humbling to see that that many people would come

together for our town.”

McAnaspie and Frank said they are fans of the Yankees, who are

inviting about 3,000 children, families and others in the Newtown

community to their July 7 game against Baltimore.

”It means that we can try to bring a little bit of comfort to

them,” Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera said. ”We cannot change

… what happened. That was a tragedy that shocked the United

States and the whole world. We just want to give them something so

they can get a bit of respite.”

AP Sports Writers Howard Fendrich, Eric Nunez and Howie Rumberg

contributed to this report.