Local resident reflects on close call in Boston (with photos)

By Dave Greber

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7 photos

April 17, 2013 Updated Apr 17, 2013 at 11:16 AM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) Robb Munro appreciates the little things these days. The mundane might mean a little more.

Munro, his father and cousin spent the afternoon Monday at Fenway in Boston, taking in the sights of a bright New England spring day in a storied ballpark.

Late in the game, Boston first baseman Mike Napoli fouled a ball off the mask of Tampa Bay catcher Jose Molina, which delayed Napoli's game-winning double by five or 10 minutes.

It also happened to delay the Munros, who had planned to walk to the finish line of the Boston Marathon after the final out.

Instead of being amongst the crowd on Boylston Street at approximately 2:50 p.m., when the first of twin bombs tore a hole in a historic race, Munro, of Masonville, N.Y., was just on his way; four blocks away from the initial blast, two blocks away from the second.

It was just a foul ball, Munro said, until it wasn't.

"Afterwards, looking back, you know, that delay was very likely the difference in us being right down where the bombs were going off and where we actually were when it happened," he said. "It's just one of those things that you think about, you know, how one little thing can change every event thereafter. That little foul ball, which seemed inconsequential, was very likely the thing that kept us out of that area."

At first, the explosions -- muffled for Munro because of distance and buildings -- seemed appropriate for the celebration working its way through Boston streets.

"We just chalked it up to we're in Boston, it's Patriot Day, they're shooting off a canon and things like that," he said.

Like the foul ball, it was -- until it wasn't.

Then wave after wave of first responders. Screaming. This was no celebration.

"It was definitely a sobering experience, and I come out of it feeling extremely lucky that things played out the way they did," he said Tuesday after returning home. "I was a U.S. History teacher, a lifelong Red Sox fan and a runner. And so, going to Boston on Patriots Day is something I've dreamed of for a long, long time.

"And I finally got to," Munro said. "We sat in the stands, it was a beautiful day, the Red Sox had a walkoff (win), and everything seemed like you were just living in this fairy tale. The city was alive ... And then all the sudden, there was this hush over the city, and the only sounds were sirens."

As of Tuesday, three people had died in the explosions. More than 175 people were injured, including more than a dozen critically.

"My father, my cousin and I were obviously very lucky. But we feel for the people who were not as lucky," he said.

Like many in downtown Boston Monday, leaving the chaotic city was challenging. Cell phone service was spotty -- and his battery was low -- streets were closed and fear and uncertainty drove him and his father away from mass transit.

Eventually, a friend drove him to his car, and he made out -- the sirens still wailing in his rear view.

Munro had added anxiety Monday, although his wife, Stephanie, would argue she carried most of the burden.

She's 31 weeks pregnant, making the time between her hearing the news of the bombings and the assurance her husband was not among the injured -- or worse -- unbearable.

But Munro's a quick study. He said Tuesday his latest outing is his last long-distance trip before their baby is born.

"I knew that that was likely my last trip away before my wife has the baby, to go very far away, but it certainly solidifies that there won't be any big trips between now and then to create that type of a situation," he said. "That was stressful enough the first time."