BOSTON — In five years, those who suited up for the Red Sox last Friday probably won’t remember which team won the 2014 home opener at Fenway Park. In 10 years, the Red Sox might even think they emerged victorious. In 20 years, heck, the Red Sox probably will think they won in blowout fashion.
No, it won’t be a case of organizational amnesia. It’ll simply be because the 2014 home opener at Fenway was about much more than Boston’s 6-2 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.
Several Red Sox players have stated since last October that they’ve already turned the page on their incredible 2013 World Series run. Last Friday’s ring ceremony at Fenway offered one final chance to bask in the glory, though, and it’s something no one donning a Red Sox uniform will forget any time soon.
“It was great. Every Opening Day ceremony that I can remember has been unbelievable, especially this one when we’re getting the rings from winning the World Series the year before,” said David Ortiz, who received a World Series MVP ring in addition to the regular ring each player from last year’s team received. “It was amazing the way they put it together.”
“When you go through something like that, it happens so fast,” second baseman Dustin Pedroia added while reflecting on Friday’s festivities. “You just try to slow it down and take it all in. But all of it was awesome.”
Emotion was the theme of last Friday’s pregame ring ceremony. Not only was last year’s championship team honored, but the Red Sox paid tribute to Boston Fire Lt. Edward Walsh and Firefighter Michael Kennedy — who were killed in a fire in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood — as well as the victims of last April’s Boston Marathon bombing.
“It was (at) some point when everything went from happiness to kind of sadness,” Ortiz said of the emotional tribute. “Seeing the firefighters last week losing their lives trying to save some others. I got to meet their families, and it was sad to see people going away like that trying to do good things. All you can do is pray for the family and support them.”
Tears were accompanied by cheers and smiles Friday, as other Boston sports champions — Pedro Martinez, Jason Varitek, Mike Lowell, Mark Recchi, Troy Brown, Ty Law and Leon Powe — converged on the Fenway Park mound before former Boston mayor Thomas Menino and current Boston mayor Marty Walsh came together for the game’s ceremonial first pitch. It all happened in the shadow of a Green Monster draped with a gigantic 2013 World Series champions banner.
“It was awesome. It was pretty special,” Pedroia said. “I’ll definitely remember it forever.”
Pedroia wasn’t alone in cherishing the opener. Even those not a part of last year’s championship team, like A.J. Pierzynski and Grady Sizemore, said they were touched by everything that unfolded.
The whole ceremony certainly was memorable, even if the game’s end result was something worth forgetting.