Hey Boston, you’re not dreaming. We’re World Champions.
I woke up on the couch in a contorted position, with a stiff neck and a headache. The TV was at the end of a recording, paused with David Ortiz hoisting an absurdly large champagne bottle over his head. There was a much smaller, cheaper, half empty beer bottle in front of me. I felt like I was waking up from a long, beautiful dream. It took me a second, but then I uncontrollably smiled, realizing it wasn’t a dream. It was real. The Red Sox had won the World Series. In Boston.
It’s cliché, but the 2013 Boston Red Sox are one of those stories that I’ll tell my grandchildren about. The last time the Red Sox won the World Series at home, at Fenway, was 1918. Woodrow Wilson was President. Babe Ruth was our ace. The teams arrived at Fenway on horse and carriage and the country was worried about the Spanish Flu.
Much has changed over the past 95 years — wars have been won and lost, we’ve travelled to the moon and back, invented the iPod, and something called Twerking. But one of the most amazing things about sports is that it serves as a type of compass for understanding and finding our past. No matter how different times were then, the fans in 1918 and those in the stands on Wednesday night, were watching the same simple, perfect game. Baseball. And they were rooting for the same team. The Boston Red Sox.
And what a team it was. From 69 wins in 2012 to 108 and a World Series trophy in 2013. From worst, to first. A perfectly crafted story of redemption that couldn’t have been scripted any better. Nobody expected this team to win except for themselves (and this kid). They played smart and patient baseball, taking pitches and churning out runs. They had consistent starting pitching that went deep into games, topped off with a lights out bullpen that pounded the strike zone. But this team wasn’t just consistent — it was clutch. 21 games were won in final at bats. Timely hitting from a bearded cast of characters throughout the entire playoffs. See: Ortiz and Victorino grand slams, Napoli solo shot, Gomes three run bomb, Victorino double, Ross double…it goes on and on. Stuff of legends.
So, when Koji Uehara threw his final splitter down and away to end Game 6 at Fenway Park, the city erupted. Inside the stadium the players, staff, fans and families smiled, cried and partied. Outside the stadium it was much of the same. Pure elation that lasted long into the night. This one was extra special. It brought the city together – stronger than ever – just months after the ugly events on Boylston street during the Boston Marathon.
As the team and its fans partied long into the night, something in the fabric of this city changed. After decades of losing, the Sox have won for the third time in nine years. This time at home. Solidifying a new, winning culture that now defines Boston and it’s people, and will continue to for generations to come. And we’re extremely lucky to be a part of it.
When I woke up yesterday morning, dazed and confused on the couch — I walked outside to get a coffee. I peered down Newbury street towards Fenway. The lights were still on. As if to remind the city that no, we’re not dreaming. We’re World Champions.