Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

October 31, 2013

Boston fans take to streets to celebrate title

BOSTON — Jubilant Red Sox fans took to the streets around Fenway Park to cheer their team's World Series victory Wednesday night, the first time Boston has won baseball's fall classic at home in 95 years.

Fans chanted and caroused outside the ballpark and nearby bars after Boston vanquished the St. Louis Cardinals 6-1 in Game 6. Several fans were seen giving high fives to police officers.

"Words cannot describe how I feel," said Sam D'Arrigo. "This is what being a Boston fan is all about."

The win capped an emotional season for the Red Sox, one heavy with the reminder of the Boston Marathon bombings in April. Players wore "Boston Strong" logos on their left sleeves and erected a large emblem on the outfield wall known as the Green Monster as a constant reminder.

A "B Strong" logo was mowed into the center-field grass at Fenway.

"We needed this (victory)," after the bombings that killed 3 people and wounded more than 260, said Mark Porcaro of Boston. "They were an easy team to get behind because they stood up for us when we needed them most," following the tragedy.

The Red Sox have now won three World Series in a decade, but they hadn't won at home since 1918.

An excited Boston Mayor Tom Menino tweeted: "Get the ducks ready, we're having a parade." He was referring to the duck boat parades the city had had during previous sports celebrations.

Police set up barriers to funnel the crowds away from Fenway Park and mounted police and officers on bicycles patrolled the area. Some fans were obviously intoxicated.

Police later said on Twitter that they'd arrested several people for unruly behavior. Throughout the night, the department had tweeted cautionary messages, encouraging fans to "Celebrate with pride" and "Celebrate responsibly."

In St. Louis, fans were disappointed that the Cardinals lost. Many watched the game 1,200 miles away from the comfort of their couches.

Ed Moreland watched it while cleaning offices at a downtown bank building. "We had a good team. We fought for it," he said. "Boston was just a bit stronger."

Some tourists in St. Louis favored the 26th-floor view of the Gateway Arch over the play-by-play of a third consecutive loss in a series that earlier looked like it could have ended at Busch Stadium after the Cardinals won two of the first three games.

"It's pretty quiet in here," said Coltier Blakely of Mexico, Mo., who was in town for a statewide meeting of community college administrators.

Boston has hosted several celebrations over the last decade as the Celtics, Patriots, Bruins and Red Sox have all won titles since 2004, but some of the post-championship partying has caused problems. In 2004, a 21-year-old college student was killed by a pepper pellet fired by Boston police during crowd-control efforts following the Red Sox win in the American League Championship Series. In 2008, a 22-year-old man died after police took him into custody during street celebrations of the Celtics' title.

Chris LeBlanc of Glocester, R.I., skipped class last spring to watch the Red Sox's season opener. On Wednesday he was at Fenway with his father Michael, hoping to score tickets.

Despite a dismal 2012 season LeBlanc, 18, said he always felt good about the team's chances this year. "I was optimistic," he said.

Michael LeBlanc, 45, shook his head and smiled. He remembers well the decades of disappointment, the talk of curses and the blown chances. He knows what a treat it is to have a shot at three World Series wins in a decade.

"He doesn't know how good he has it," he said.

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