Cruz dedicated Sunday's game to 6-year-old Jack, writing "My Hero" and "R.I.P. Jack Pinto" on his cleats and gloves.
The gesture was not an empty one as Cruz went a step further and traveled to Newtown Tuesday to visit with Jack's family.
According to reports, Cruz spent over an hour at the home, speaking with the family and presenting Jack's 11-year-old brother, Ben, with the cleats and gloves from Sunday's game.
After the visit Cruz, tweeted: "Much love to the entire Pinto family. Great people with huge hearts. I'm sorry again for your loss. Looking at life through a different lense."
The Cruz tribute is now famous, but tributes from local sports teams began Saturday night and are continuing as the state and the nation continue to mourn.
Many area high schools canceled games Friday and Saturday but those that played wanted the people of Newtown to know they were thinking of them.
One game that was played Saturday was between the Greenwich and Darien girls ice hockey teams, and before the game, a suggestion from a parent led to maybe the first public sports tribute to the victims.
Each Greenwich player wrote "Newtown" on one side of their sticks and wrote a victim's name on the other side.
"We were thinking that we are a town in Connecticut just like them and we just wanted to honor them," Greenwich junior center Erin Ferguson said. "It was really hard to go play hockey. We were thinking about it all day and just tried to play our hearts out for them."
As the next week began, more schools got back to playing sports and more tributes followed, but few could have been as moving as Wednesday night in Newtown when the Newtown High School's girls basketball team took the court against Masuk with 26 Sandy Hook green-and-white balloons floating on the baseline under a banner that read, "Newtown Strong."
Prior to the game, there was a ceremony, which included a 26-second moment of silence for the victims and a presenting of the colors by the Edson division of the U.S. Naval sea cadets from New Haven.
The tributes will continue as Newtown returns to action in different sports.
Thursday, Newtown was scheduled to wrestle against Stratford with tributes going both ways.
Prior to the match, the Newtown wrestlers were presented with gifts from their counterparts from Stratford, a small vase with a green and white carnation inside.
The Stratford wrestlers will be wearing green shoelaces, something athletic director Bob Baird said all Stratford teams will be doing for the rest of the winter season.
"Everyone wants to come up with something to help them out," Baird said. "We and Bunnell have formed a scholarship, and a physical education teacher from Stratford designed a T-shirt that we are selling with the proceeds going to Sandy Hook."
The shirt has a green and white ribbon drawn on it and reads "Always be strong."
The school has already sold over 250 shirts.
While they are being honored, the Newtown wrestlers planned on wearing red shoelaces to honor Sandy Hook teacher and Stratford native Victoria Soto, who was murdered trying to protect her first-grade students.
Across town at Bunnell, the Bulldogs will host Newtown in girls basketball Friday at 4, and instead of admission will be accepting donations at the door for the Sandy Hook Support Fund and is asking spectators to wear green and white.
"We tried to do a little something and keep it simple but show support for Newtown," Bunnell athletic director David Johnson said. "Then we will play some basketball and try to feel normal again."
The school held a "fuzzy wuzzy" drive Thursday with students bringing in teddy bears for the children of Newtown.
Saturday at the boys basketball game against Newtown, donations made at the gate will go to the Victoria Soto Memorial Fund.
Notre Dame-Fairfield takes on Newtown in many sports, and the boys and girls hockey teams will wear black ribbon stickers on their helmets. Also, the boys and girls basketball teams will wear black wristbands with "SHES 2012" on them.
In addition, Notre Dame will be accepting donations for Sandy Hook victims at all home hockey and basketball games this week.
Wilton will host Newtown in boys basketball Dec. 27, and head coach Joel Geriak said they are in the process of planning an appropriate tribute.
"We are doing a bunch of things when we play Newtown," Geriak said. "We are having a moment of silence and a donation or 50/50 raffle with money going to victims' families. We are getting 27 white balloons on the benches representing the victims. We are trying to get everyone to wear green sneakers and also put a patch on our uniforms. Might have more, we are working on that."
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers announced Thursday that the team will honor the victims throughout the next month by wearing the last names of the children lost on their black, alternate jerseys. In place of each player's last name, every jersey worn at home beginning Saturday, when the Sound Tigers take on the Adirondack Phantoms, will have the name of one of the 20 students whose life was lost.
Furthermore, the UConn women's basketball team stood in silence as 26 candles were brought to center court prior to its game against Oakland on Wednesday night.
Players stood side by side, wearing green and white patches for Sandy Hook victims and Huskies players wore small patches on the front of their jerseys with the letters "SH" in green and white.
On Monday, the UConn men also had a moment of silence, a tearful candlelight vigil to remember the children who are gone.
The Providence College basketball team wore special green jerseys, and instead of the names on the jerseys, Sandy Hook was above each number.
Twenty-six seats were blocked off in the stands, marked with flowers, to acknowledge the void left by the gunman.
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