Metro, Boston

Red Sox Faithful Welcome Home 2018 World Series Champions

Chants of “Yankees Suck” and the chorus of “Dirty Water” swept through the crowd near Fenway Park early Wednesday morning as Red Sox fans swarmed the streets in excitement to cheer on the 2018 World Series champions after their victory against the L.A. Dodgers late Sunday night. The Dodgers only won one of the five games played in the whole series—that game lasted an unusual 18 innings at Dodger Stadium Saturday night.

The parade of Duck Boats, led by the Dropkick Murphys, officially started at 11 a.m., but fans began lining up hours beforehand. The cold barely seemed to bother the fans, who are used to such festivities in harsh New England weather. Everyone came prepared, sporting their Red Sox jerseys and hats, along with creative signs. A large spray-painted banner reading “L.A. Lost Again 2018” hung over a cement blockade, while other signs rallied for “Alex Cora for President 2020” and displayed the team’s well-liked 2018 postseason slogan,“Damage Done.”

Among those who received the loudest cheers was rookie manager Alex Cora, who hails from Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rican flag could be seen throughout the parade, whether it be out in the crowds or attached to the bottom of various signs on the Duck Boats. Along with Cora, starting pitcher David Price, World Series MVP Steve Pearce, J.D Martinez, and of course, Mookie Betts drew the loudest reactions from the crowd. Price, whose status with Sox fans has fluctuated over the years, has clearly redeemed himself thanks to his outstanding performance in the World Series. He even revealed early Wednesday morning that he would not be opting out of his contract with the Red Sox, much to the delight of Red Sox nation.

When Chris Sale struck out Manny Machado in the ninth inning on Sunday, the Red Sox officially clinched their fourth World Series title in the 21st century. The New England Patriots have also brought five Super Bowl championship titles to Boston since 2002, while the Celtics won the 2008 NBA championship and the Bruins captured the Stanley Cup in 2011. The day after the Red Sox World Series victory, an opinion columnist for The New York Times wondered whether Boston sports fans were “Sick and Tired Of Winning.” The relentless, electrifying excitement in the crowd would say otherwise.

“That’s ridiculous. We’re a city of champions,” said one fan. “We expect our teams to win. Other cities are just jealous that our teams are so good.”

The Red Sox had an 86-year drought from World Series titles from 1918 to 2004, despite capturing many American League pennants in the intervening years. But the team solidified its reputation as one of the best in baseball by winning two World Series after 2004.

People of all ages—from infants strapped onto their parents to fans well into their 70s and 80s—could be found throughout the crowd. The parade drew thousands and thousands of school kids from around Boston, as the parades usually do, despite being held on a school day.

When asked how the 2018 World Series win compares to the previous three, one Boston parade-goer noted the unmatched success of the Red Sox’s 2018 season.

“This team won so many regular season wins,” said one fan in attendance. “To achieve that and win the World Series was unbelievable, especially against the Yankees and Astros. The 2018 Sox have such good karma—they can’t go wrong!”

The Sox had 108 regular season wins, to be exact, surpassing all other teams in the American and National leagues.

Although most celebrants were undoubtedly from the Boston area, a minority of non-Red Sox fans could be spotted on the periphery of the parade lines.  

“I’m not a Red Sox fan, but I have never been to a World Series parade,” commented one out-of-stater from the Midwest. “I was in town so I thought I’d stop by.”

Featured Images by Jessica Rivilis / Heights Staff

November 2, 2018