November 2, 2013

It’s parade time in Boston

The Red Sox celebrate their World Series title with a ‘rolling rally’ through Boston.

By Howard Ulman
The Associated Press

BOSTON – From the Green Monster to the Charles River, the bearded champions celebrated their improbable journey with another familiar sight in Boston.

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From left, Emma Jadul, 11, sister Caroline Jadul 7, both of Redding, Mass., and Christian Hoyt, 11, of Brockton, Mass., cheer Boston Red Sox players floating by on amphibious duck Bnoats during a rolling victory parade on the Charles River on Saturday in Cambridge Mass.

The Associated Press

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Boston Red Sox’s Jonny Gomes places the championship trophy and a Red Sox baseball jersey at the Boston Marathon finish line during a pause in their World Series victory rolling rally in Boston on Saturday to remember those affected by the Marathon bombing.

The Associated Press

Additional Photos Below

The World Series trophy.

For the third time in 10 years, the Red Sox carried the prize through their city in a “rolling rally” of amphibious “duck boats” as thousands of fans lined the streets and the banks of the waterway that separates Boston from Cambridge.

The most poignant moment occurred early in Saturday’s trip when the vehicles stopped at the Boston Marathon finish line, near where two explosions killed three spectators at the race on April 15.

Outfielder Jonny Gomes placed the trophy on the line and he and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia held Red Sox jerseys with the words “BOSTON STRONG” and the number 617, the city’s area code. A jersey with that message hung in the Red Sox dugout throughout the season after the bombings.

On a mild, sunny day, noted tenor Ronan Tynan sang “God Bless America” and the crowd joined in.

“That was an emotional moment,” Gomes said. “To bring the World Series trophy to the finish line, I don’t think that the story was written that way, but I was glad to be a part of it and put the exclamation point on it.”

Before the rally began at Fenway, Manager John Farrell recalled that the Red Sox had left after their 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays the day of the Marathon for Logan Airport for a trip. Along the way, they saw emergency vehicles responding to the explosions.

“Knowing that we were heading out of town, that’s going to bring back a lot, and a lot of uncertainty at that moment,” Farrell said, “because no one knew where to turn next. So we were fortunate to be part of maybe a little bit of a healing process.”

Second baseman Dustin Pedroia said: “We played for the whole city, what the city went through.”

Boston’s climb from last place in the AL East in 2012 to the top of the baseball world was stunning.

But not to Pedroia, a gritty leader of a closely knit team that won the title with a 6-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6 on Wednesday night. It was the first time the Red Sox won the Series at home in 95 years.

“The way we started spring training, it seemed like everybody counted us out,” he said. “We always said, `One day closer to a parade.’ It’s here.”

The line score from the clinching game was still on the scoreboard on the left-field wall as season-ticket holders gathered for a prerally ceremony.

“We just wanted this group to win so badly,” General Manager Ben Cherington told the crowd, “because we know they wanted it so badly.”

Then the team boarded 25 duck boats of many colors – pink, yellow, maroon, lime green, white and more – normally used for tourist trips.

Some boats even had light brown carpeting cut into the shape of beards attached on the front.

Players still had their beards, which some had grown all season long.

“Hopefully, we can all get together and shave them for a good cause,” third baseman Will Middlebrooks said.

Some fans also were at rolling rallies after the 2004 and 2007 championships.

“This may be the best parade yet,” said Charles Butler, 48, of Boston, who attended his third. “It is the best thing that could have happened to Boston right now. The bombing was a sad time, and now we have a reason to come together and celebrate.”

Anna Mitkevicius, 24, of Medford, watched from near the finish line that she never reached on April 15. She was stopped about one mile before the end because of the explosions.

(Continued on page 2)

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Additional Photos

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Boston’s Shane Victorino holds the World Series trophy on Duck Boat during a victory parade celebrating the team’s third World Series title since 2004 on Saturday in Boston.

The Associated Press

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Duck boats line up in Fenway Park in advance of the Boston Red Sox’s championship parade in celebration of their World Series win on Saturday in Boston.

The Associated Press

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