Red Sox fans swarmed the streets of Boston Sunday night and began parading from Fenway toward Boston Common before the fifth and final game of the World Series was called. The team earned its ninth World Series title in Los Angeles with a 5-1 victory against the Dodgers after dominating the league for the duration of the season.
Brigades of yellow-vested Boston Police officers on bicycles rolled into Kenmore Square in anticipation of the victory and barricaded all entryways to the Fenway area. Fans who were already in Kenmore before the end of the game were permitted to stay, while all others were turned away.
Kirsty Haley, a sophomore at Northeastern University, said police turned her away from the Fenway area, so she and her friends raced toward Boston Common to join in on the excitement.
“I really couldn’t wait,” Haley said. “I’m from Mass., so I’m so excited. I was, like, crying in my dorm room.”
With all Green Line trains bypassing Kenmore Station, many young fans travelled inbound and congregated in the Common, where they belted the lyrics to “Sweet Caroline” in between swigs of beer and rival chants of “[Expletive] BU” and “BC sucks.”
Several young men propelled themselves into trees and sprayed streams of Bud Light over the expanding crowd of college students and local fans.
South Boston resident Bob Hammersmith, 45, said he was excited to see students from all different universities and backgrounds enjoying the World Series win together, even if they were still involving their rival school chants in the celebration.
“I was a kid once,” Hammersmith said. “This is the way that it goes. I’m sort of, like, sentimental in my old age.”
The collective celebration Boston shares after a sports victory, Hammersmith said, is an important element of the city’s culture. He referred to the celebration a “cross-cultural” representation of “citizenship.”
“It’s part of the city’s history,” he said. “It’s part of representing the city. I think it’s important that everybody shows respect to this area that we call home.”
Jonathan Frankle, a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, stood back with his eyes on the crowd. The people-watching was incredible, he said, and justified leaving his lab for a few minutes.
“I’m having a fascinating time,” Frankle said. “It’s something I’ve never gotten to see in my life before, so it’s cool to just see people celebrating and having fun, as much as it’s really just a bunch of college kids finding another excuse to party.”
Seth Freedman, a sophomore at Northeastern University, said experiencing a World Series victory in the winning city was a surreal experience for him, despite not making it to many games this season.
As a Newton native, Freedman said he grew up following Boston athletics and was excited to finally be in the Downtown area at the height of the celebration.
“It means a lot whenever a Boston sports team wins a championship, and going to school in Boston is a really fun experience, especially being around my friends who aren’t from Boston,” Freedman said. “It’s great, not to rub it in their face, but to rub it in their face, you know?”
North End resident Alison Savage, 23, gasped as she witnessed a young man hoist himself up a lamp post and smash it in with his fist. Although she said such erratic behavior was uncalled for, the Maine native and lifetime Red Sox fan explained that the World Series win was a monumental occasion worth celebrating.
“After ’04, we’ve just been carrying this wave with all these new young guys coming in,” Savage said of the team. “It’s great to see the progress we’ve made and to see everybody come together and support them.”
This was the first time Savage was able to be in Boston to witness the celebration firsthand. She said she was happy to see people of all ages coming together for a city-wide display of joy.
“It’s great to see people from all walks of life coming together to celebrate something that brings people together,” Savage said. “I think everyone can get into it. Whether you’re a hardcore fan or just kind of there for the social aspect, everyone can rally around it.”