By Margaret Teague
“U-S-A! U-S-A!” chanted the massive crowd of fans as they swarmed the intersection of Bolyston and Massachusetts Avenue after the Red Sox clinched the 2013 World Series championship against the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday.
In the 109th World Series, the Red Sox won in Game 6 against the Cardinals, 6-1.
The last time the Red Sox won at Fenway was in 1918, nearly 100 years ago when Babe Ruth was still swinging for the Sox.
All of Boston was in support of the Red Sox. Even the Prudential Center lit up its building with the words, “GO SOX.”
Coming back from one of the worst seasons in 47 years, no song other than “Dirty Water” showed the dedication of Boston fans when the game finished. “Well I love that dirty water. Oh, Boston you’re my home. Oh, you’re the number one place.”
“I go back to our players understanding their place in this city,’’ field manager John Farrell told the Boston Globe. “They kind of, for lack of a better way to describe it, they get it. They get that there’s, I think, a civic responsibility that we have wearing this uniform, particularly here in Boston. And it became a connection . . . I’m sure that everybody in our uniform, whether they are here going forward or elsewhere, they’ll look back on the events that took place and the way things unfolded as a special year. There’s no way we can say it any other way.’’
Mowed into the field at Fenway was “B STRONG,” while players wore “Boston Strong” logos on their left sleeves, acknowledging Boston’s strength after the marathon tragedy in April. After the Sox clinched their third World Series Championship in ten years, a large group gathered at the marathon finish line at Copley Square, chanting patriotically until police arrived to monitor the scene.
“We needed to win this year because of the Boston bombing that happened last year,” said Jake Maude, a Boston resident.
Of the seven World Series matchups that have happened four or more times, Cardinals/Red Sox is the only matchup to have happened in this century, as the two teams battled in on the World Series stage in both 2004 and now in 2013.
“If 2004 was about reversing ‘the Curse,’ and 2007 was about validating that first title, then this was about redemption, about restoring the good name of a franchise sullied by a hellish 13 months of ne’er-do-well pitchers who guzzled beer and munched on fried chicken during a September collapse for the ages and the 93-loss nightmare of a season that followed,” said Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald.
John Lackey was once hated by Red Sox fans, but in the final game of the World Series he won back their trust. Lackey threw an impressive six innings where he allowed just one run. In winning the World Series with the Sox, he became the first man in baseball history to win World Series final games for two franchises, the Red Sox in 2013 and the Angels in 2002.
In the seventh inning, Red Sox fans became nervous as the Cardinals fought back with a single, a double, and Carlos Beltran’s RBI single. Farrell came out to replace Lackey.
“This is my game!’’ Lackey shouted to his manager.
Farrell went back to the dugout, but when Lackey walked Matt Holliday to load the bases, Farrell pulled Lackey. Lackey tipped his cap to 38,447 fans who now chanted his name with appreciation.
Many say the new Red Sox general mangaer, Ben Cherington, and new field manager, John Farrell, were a key part of the Red Sox turn around.
After the game, masses of fans flooded the streets of Boston as they ran, slapped hands with strangers, sang, danced, and laughed. In the intersection of Bolyston St. and Mass Ave. stood a massive crowd of several hundred who, on this night, were united by the collective fervor of a Red Sox win.
People jumped nearly on top of one another and other sat on each another’s shoulders. By the volume of the infinite “Red Sox Baby!” screams, many young men had come straight from the bars onto the streets. Countless people held their phones high to take videos of the excitement.
A male college student ripped open his Red Sox t-shirt in a moment of pure bliss and intensity. A young couple unendingly kissed admist the mass of rowdy people. Happiness was contagious in Boston.
“World Champs!” was called at every moment, as people stood on guardrails and walking sign poles to get a better look.
A van slowly drove down Bolyston Street with its doors open as people nearly hung out of its doors, while the driver blew a trumpet loudly and honked his horn repeatedly. People cheered wildly as the van passed.
Three young men stood on the roof of their parked car, smoking cigarettes and posing for camera shots in celebration. Nearby a man held a cooking pot high in the air and banged a stick against it.
After 20 minutes of chaotic bliss, police cleared the intersection and blocked off Bolyston Street for walking.
One car stopped in the street and played loud rap music as college-aged males stood around, smoking weed and waving their arms in a moment of complete joy. Behind them a line of cars honked, anxious to make their way out of the city.
This is the eighth championship Boston has seen since the Patriots Superbowl victory in 2002, also against a St. Louis team, and fans are more behind Boston than ever.
“With everything that’s happened this year to the city of Boston, combined with the fact that the Sox won it at home really made this world series incredible. It’s definitely an amazing time to be a Boston sports fan,” said BU student Andrew Berry.