(Image from Red Sox Twitter Page)
Friday afternoon was a joyous day for Bostonians. It was the third time in ten years that Red Sox fans could celebrate in the stands while players took the field to receive their World Series rings. It was an epic celebration with politicians, helicopters and, of course, the magnificently large World Series 2013 Champions banner that nearly blanketed the entire Green Monster.
Fans live for celebrations like this, but if you’re a true Red Sox fan, then you know it hasn’t always been easy. For 86 years, Red Sox fans only dreamed of a Friday celebration like this as they were doomed by the Curse of the Bambino. It wasn’t until 2004 that they could finally hold their heads up high and wear their red and whites with pride.
2013 was no 2004. It was better.
While 2004 was the year the curse was broken, 2013 was the year the broken were mended. Boston baseball was no longer about nine players and a Green Monster. It was about drive, raw pain, determination, hard work and camaraderie. It was the year that the players went out game after game and pushed themselves because down the street the victims of the Boston Marathon were working harder.
True to form, World Series MVP, David Ortiz (Big Papi) shared his celebration with fans. When police officer Richard Donohue, who had been injured in a shootout with the marathon bombers, came up to him for a selfie, David Ortiz obliged. Just three days before on the south lawn of the White House, Big Papi had asked President Obama for the honor of posing for a selfie with him. So once again with sunglasses on, Big Papi leaned in for a picture, and Donohue clicked the icon. (Only this time, it wasn’t about Samsung, marketing, lawyers or national pride—it was just a selfie between two champions.) Big Papi paid-it-forward and the result: two frames of American History captured in one week’s time.
The History Books will certainly claim the Marathon as part of the Red Sox’ 2013 inspiration, but no page will ever come close to capturing the heart-felt camaraderie of the players and those victims on that Friday afternoon in Boston when champions and victims stood shoulder to shoulder at Fenway Park. They all wore red and white jerseys and, from the distance, you could barely tell them apart.