By Harry Jones
BU News Service
BOSTON – They call it “Title-Town” for a reason. On Wednesday Oct. 31, for the fourth time since the turn of the century, Red Sox players aboard duck boats were paraded through the streets of Boston to celebrate their World Series victory.
The tour headed downtown from Lansdowne Street and eventually ended on Staniford Street. As expected, hoards of fans greeted the players at each stop, many of whom neglected traditional Halloween costumes to sport Red Sox hats and jerseys.
Indeed, it has only been 18 months since the last Boston sporting parade, courtesy of the 2017 Patriots. Yet, this one felt different.
This was a team with a young roster and a first-year head coach who had smashed the franchise record and strolled to the World Series, losing a mere three games in October. A team who had beaten the 100-win Yankees and 103-win Astros on their way to the championship. No team had ever beaten two 100-win teams in the postseason before. These Red Sox hadn’t just done it, they had done it comfortably.
It is, therefore, unsurprising that the term “best ever” was thrown about liberally throughout the celebrations.
It is thus far unclear how many Red Sox fans were in attendance, but past parades have drawn over 500,000 people.
Sam Gallagher, for example, took an hour-long train from Northbridge to see the parade. One of the highlights for him and his friends was watching Jackie Bradley Jr. drop a Miller Lite from his duck boat, he said.
“You got to do what you got to do for this team,” he said.
While many of the Red Sox—who mostly stood with their families—displayed a civility that had become synonymous with the team’s mentality, the fans were in party mode. Some threw beers cans directly at the duck boats where the players were stationed. When a can was caught by a player, the crowds would erupt with glee. Pitcher Chris Sale even chugged one of them.
Yet, the contrast between the chaos and the calm was troubling. The World Series trophy, for example, suffered minor damage thanks to one of the many lofted cans. Head Coach Alex Cora was also struck.
The players were also accompanied on the duck boats by cutouts of their own faces. Joe Kelly even had a cutout of his Red Sox reporter alter-ego Jim Buchanan, complete with the blonde wig.
The team was treated to a series of chants throughout the day. Owner John Henry’s name was applauded and star player Mookie Betts was greeted with shouts of “MVP” whenever he was seen by the crowds. Perhaps the most frequent was a derogatory chant towards the Sox’s arch-rivals, the New York Yankees.
Cora himself delighted crowds by taking a swipe at the Yankees while talking to reporters.
“We scored 16 at Yankee Stadium,” he said. “Suck on it.”
The parade concluded at around 1 p.m., as red, white and blue confetti fell from the sky.
Crowds began to scatter. Pools of confetti were left on the street, waiting to be cleared up. This glorious Red Sox season may be over, but it will live long in the memory of the City of Boston.