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Why do the Red Sox play early on Patriots’ Day?

An 11 a.m. start time at Fenway Park has been a Patriots’ Day tradition since the 1960s, in large part because of the Boston Marathon.

An American flag is dropped from the Green Monster prior to the start of the game between the Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox in honor of Patriots Day at Fenway Park on April 19, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

There are 13 games on the MLB schedule on Monday, April 17th, but one in particular stands out. The Boston Red Sox will host the Los Angeles Angels in the finale of their four-game set at Fenway Park with a unique start time: 11:10 a.m. ET, the earliest scheduled first pitch of the 2023 season.

The reason? Welcome to Patriots’ Day in Boston.

Patriots’ Day has been a public holiday in the state of Massachusetts since 1894, in commemoration of the battles of Lexington and Concord which signaled the start of the American Revolutionary War. It was originally celebrated on April 19th, but has since shifted to the third Monday of April.

Another feature of Patriots’ Day: The Boston Marathon, the biggest marathon in the U.S., has been run on the holiday every year for over a century. As you can imagine, this created quite a conundrum for Boston sports fans — so, in 1969, the Red Sox instituted the 11 a.m. start time in order to allow fans to make it back to Kenmore Square in time to catch the end of the race. (The Boston Marathon starts earlier now, which has made this double-dip harder to pull off.)

The Boston Marathon gets started with the men’s wheelchair division at 9:02 a.m., the professional men start at 9:37 a.m., the professional women start at 9:47 a.m., and the rest of the field starts in waves at 10 a.m.

The Red Sox have been scheduled to play at home on every Patriots’ Day since 1959. Brayan Bello is scheduled to take the mound for Boston, while Shohei Ohtani will go for the Angels. The game will be broadcast nationally on MLB Network.

Angels vs. Red Sox info

Pitchers: Shohei Ohtani vs. Brayan Bello
First pitch: 11:10 a.m. ET
Angels local broadcast: Bally Sports West
Red Sox local broadcast: NESN
Live stream: MLB Network, MLB App