Confetti guns shot red, blue and white as paradegoers gathered along the mostly Boylston Street parade route to cheer on the 2018 World Series champions, the Boston Red Sox.
Before the parade started for the Red Sox for their ninth World Series title, the festivities began at Fenway Park. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker kicked off the celebration by noting that Boston’s sports victories had not always been so frequent.
“How many of you have only lived in the 2000s for the Red Sox? I got to tell you, from all of those with gray hair, you are living in the golden years folks,” Baker said, referring to the 86-year period from 1918 to 2004, a drought in which the Red Sox didn’t win a single World Series.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora, coming off only his second season coaching Major League Baseball, said that even in this time of victory, he had some doubts.
“We lost Game 2, and it was panic here,” Cora said. “Everyone was like, ‘Woah, it’s over.’”
However, even through the lowest moments in the series, Cora said his team was always able to recover.
Though much of the Red Sox’s success was attributed to the players, Cora gave recognition to the fans during the day.
“You guys live this 24 hours, seven days a week,” Cora said. “Your expectations are way up there, but one things for sure, the same expectations you guys have, that group down there has too, and they’re the world champs.”
The recognition of fans did not stop there. Red Sox player Steve Pearce, winner of the 2018 World Series MVP title, called Bostonians “the best fans in sports,” and, upon announcing his desire to return to Boston next year, the free agent was met with cheers from the audience.
Center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr., ALCS MVP following the Red Sox’s victory against the Houston Astros, said he thought the team was dynamic this season.
“During the playoffs, it didn’t even feel like the playoffs,” he said. “It just felt like a continuation of the year. We continued to take each game one at a time, and after we would win, we would just try to focus on the next. It was just an amazing ride.”
Living up to the reputation of dedicated Red Sox fans, Jett Littlefield, of Hingham, said he woke up at 4:15 a.m. to make hundreds of hot dogs, sausages and burgers for his family’s catering businesses before the parade — one he said he would not have missed for the world.
“I was going to come here anyways, but I came to work,” the 22-year-old said. “I was working from 4:15 to about 9:30, and then I came out.”
Littlefield said there is nowhere else like Boston when it comes to sports cities.
“There’s no other city that would party as hard as us, have a good time as us and celebrate as hard as us,” Littlefield said. “No way.”
In past years, the Red Sox World Series parade has drawn between 500,000 and 1 million fans along the streets of the parade route.
The crowds around Fenway Park were so dense that many sat on the shoulders of others to try to catch a glimpse of the players in the passing duck boats. Others climbed onto the hoods of trucks, and some even scaled ladders along the sides of buildings for a better view.
Having witnessed fans climb a Sunoco gas station to gain a view of the passing players, Thomas Wyant, of New York, said he wished the parade was more visible.
“Considering people were literally climbing on Sunoco to get a view, I feel like there could have been better organization on the part of the city,” the 19-year-old said. “People shouldn’t have to climb up the nearby building to get a view of the parade.”