Today the Boston Red Sox, 2004 World Series Champions, beat the NY Yankees 8-1 in their home opener. More than the win against the hated evil empire Yankees was the pre-game ceremonies that provided the fans with a moment for a lifetime as the Red Sox were given their 2004 World Championship rings and the 2004 World Series banner was raised. There were many a moving moment and I will have to say after suffering through many years of less than inspiring Management of the Boston Red Sox, the owners got it right today. Some moving and emotional moments from todays ceremonies (provided by By Eric Wilbur, Boston.com):
After fans roared for the 2004 Red Sox, who received their rings one by one, culminating with Johnny Pesky receiving his after 64 long years But when Tedy Bruschi came out to toss the ceremonial first pitch, along with Richard Seymour, Bill Russell, and Bobby Orr, Fenway Park went ecstatic. And here he was, wearing Terry Francona’s No. 47, an obvious tribute to the Red Sox manager’s own recent health troubles. The unfolding of the team’s World Series banners one by one over the Green Monster to the chords of “2001” by members of the Boston Symphony and Pops A number of our “greatest American heroes” were on the field before the ring ceremony, as members of the US military were on hand shaking hands with the players and Red Sox staff to chants of “USA” from the crowd. The raising of the 2004 World Series championship pennant, while a grand idea with members of last year’s team, along with Red Sox legends including Dwight Evans, Dom DiMaggio, and Bill Lee Really. Classy. During a moment of silence being observed for former Sox hurler Dick Radatz
There was not a dry eye in the house and a lump was in everyone’s throat when Tedy Bruschi walked out threw one of the ceremonial first pitches wearing Boston skipper, Terry Francona’s, # 47 and they bear hugged each other. You simply have to see it. In one of the more funnier and very classy moments by both Red Sox fans cheered Yankee closer Mariano Rivera. They may be the hated Yankees, but you have to call pure class when you see it. For a baseball player in this day and age to have played along with the Boston crowd and not taking the situation too seriously was priceless. There are many ball players that can learn from Rivera’s example:
When Mariano Rivera’s name was called, the fans gave the Yankee closer a standing ovation, thanking him for his two blown saves in the ALCS, and last week in the Bronx. But an even funnier thing happened. Perhaps forever enduring himself to much of Red Sox Nation, Rivera played along, tipping his cap to the crowd, and smiling at the mock gesture.
I tip my hat to Mariano Rivera, that’s what separates the good from the great and the great from the Hall of Fame. For more on the game and box scores go here courtesy of ESPN.