BOSTON — From the Green Monster to the Charles River, the bearded champions celebrated their improbable journey with another familiar sight in Boston.
The World Series trophy.
For the third time in 10 years, the Red Sox carried the prize through their city in a “rolling rally” of amphibious “duck boats” as thousands of fans lined the streets and the banks of the waterway that separates Boston from Cambridge.
The most poignant moment occurred early in Saturday’s trip when the vehicles stopped at the Boston Marathon finish line, near where two explosions killed three spectators at the race on April 15.
Outfielder Jonny Gomes placed the trophy on the line and he and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia held Red Sox jerseys with the words “BOSTON STRONG” and the number 617, the city’s area code. A jersey with that message hung in the Red Sox dugout throughout the season after the bombings.
On a mild, sunny day, noted tenor Ronan Tynan sang “God Bless America” and the crowd joined in.
“That was an emotional moment,” Gomes said. “To bring the World Series trophy to the finish line, I don’t think that the story was written that way, but I was glad to be a part of it and put the exclamation point on it.”
Before the rally began at Fenway, manager John Farrell recalled that the Red Sox had left after their 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays the day of the Marathon for Logan Airport for a road trip. Along the way, they saw emergency vehicles responding to the explosions.
“Knowing that we were heading out of town, that’s going to bring back a lot, and a lot of uncertainty at that moment,” Farrell said, “because no one knew where to turn next. So we were fortunate to be part of maybe a little bit of a healing process.”
Second baseman Dustin Pedroia said: “We played for the whole city, what the city went through.”
Boston’s climb from last place in the AL East in 2012 to the top of the baseball world was stunning.
But not to Pedroia, a gritty leader of a closely knit team that won the title with a 6-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6 on Wednesday night. It was the first time the Red Sox won the Series at home in 95 years.
“The way we started spring training, it seemed like everybody counted us out,” he said. “We always said, ‘One day closer to a parade.’ It’s here.”
The line score from the clinching game was still on the scoreboard on the left-field wall as season-ticket holders gathered for a pre-rally ceremony.
“We just wanted this group to win so badly,” general manager Ben Cherington told the crowd, “because we know they wanted it so badly.”