PAWCATUCK — Raucous cheers erupted from the crowd of 50 people gathered at C. C. O’Brien’s Wednesday night as the Boston Red Sox clinched their third World Series title in a decade.
The sixth game ended with a lopsided 6-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. Local Red Sox supporters, most covered in Red Sox attire, hugged and high-fived as they celebrated the first title decided for the Sox at Fenway Park since 1918.
Most said they were lifelong fans, and some recalled watching previous World Series games at C.C. O’Brien’s. Three of the avid fans sat at the same “lucky table” they shared when the Sox won in 2004.
“I’ve never seen the Red Sox win a World Series-clinching game not at this table,” said Mike Hunter, of Mystic, who said he plans on attending the celebratory parade in Boston later this week.
Dave Remmert, of Pawcatuck, said the first thing he wanted to do was return to his home to hug his son in celebration.
Jenn and Ken Perry of Westerly also saw the Sox win in 2004 and 2007 at C.C. O’Brien’s.
Both said they have been Red Sox fans since childhood, and were confident even before the game ended that the sixth game would be the clincher for Boston.
“Papi’s just been raking them in,” said Ken Perry, referring to the performance of designated hitter David Ortiz, the Series’ Most Valuable Player.
Perry said that while it was difficult to pick a favorite moment from the series, his favorite memory is that of Ortiz giving his teammates a pep talk in the dugout during the fourth game.
“It’s like a collective effort,” Jenn said. “It’s the whole thing together that makes it so great.”
The Boston victory also brought back memories of past World Series for many local fans, especially in 2004, when Boston swept St. Louis to end the “Curse of the Bambino.”
“Once they got past the Yankees, it was like no team was going to beat them,” said Pawcatuck resident Pat McConaghy about the 2004 series. “It was just unbelievable,” he added.
For Dave Gencarella, of North Stonington, the best World Series event was much older than 2004. “My biggest memory is when I was 11 years old, watching Carlton Fisk hit that home run in the sixth game” of the 1975 World Series, he said. “It’s always stuck in my head, especially now that I have a 9-year-old son watching this.”
Gencarella estimated he’d been to Fenway to see at least 30 baseball games and has been a Sox fan “since I was born.”
While many fans named Ortiz as their favorite player, Gencarella said his loyalty lies with Dustin Pedroia.
“It’s not about the money to him,” he said. “He plays for the love of the game, which almost no one else does anymore.”
Derek Anderson, of Pawcatuck, said he’s never been to a game at Fenway. Nevertheless, he couldn’t help but catch Boston fever and come out to support the team in their clinching game.
Jordan Powers, also from Pawcatuck, grew his beard out for a month and a half in honor of the team’s own unruly beards, which many players have been growing since spring training.
While many fans admitted that staying up to watch the games made getting up for work in the morning and continuing their other daily duties a challenge, it was worth it to see another Red Sox World Series victory.
“It’s been a little tough,” McConaghy said. “I’ll be tired tomorrow, and I’m working a double shift.” McConaghy works as a dispatcher for Narragansett police.
“I have to get up at 6:30 a.m. tomorrow,” Powers said.
However, Ken Perry pointed out that compared to the 2004 games, which sometimes went until 1 or 2 a.m., an 11 p.m. ending was not nearly as late.
“This ain’t even close to that,” he said. “And it’s worth every minute.”