Tuesday, April 12, 2005

It takes a real man to admit this.

I managed to catch the replay of the Red Sox World Series ring ceremony last night (I was at work when it actually took place), and I'm really glad I was able to see that. There were a few moments in there that were truly amazing to watch, the sort of stuff that makes you glad you're a Sox fan, glad to be a fan of baseball in general, and maybe just glad to be alive.

The ovation given to Dave Roberts by both the crowd and the team was really fantastic. He was the Sox player who stole second base and then scored to tie game 4 of the ALCS, beginning the turn of events that would lead the team to their World Series victory. You know his place in Boston lore is permanently assured, and his warm reception as he walked out on the field proved that.

The raising of the championship banner by Johnny Pesky and Carl Yastrzemski, accompanied by a legion of other former Red Sox greats was touching. You could tell that each and every one of those guys was just as proud of that moment as if they'd be if they'd won it themselves. And it was a classy move on the part of the team to include them all in the moment, too. As Terry Cashman sang (or, warbled, really), this victory was as much about Williams and Yaz and Pesky and Doerr and all the other greats of Boston past as it was about the current team.

But the best of moment of all, the one I'd say was truly beautiful, was when Pesky, still a member of the Red Sox organization (he's listed as a "special assignment instructor") at approximately 137,000 years of age, came out to receive his ring. Appropriately, he was the last man to do so, and he received the biggest ovation of them all. He then walked down the line, stopping to hug each and every member of the team. It was hard to tell who looked more proud - Pesky of the Sox, or they of him. I'm willing to bet there weren't too many dry eyes in Fenway Park at that moment. There certainly weren't in my house.
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