Saturday, November 09, 2013

(Pre-!) Rolling Rally Pictures (From Our Pal John L.)

John L. is a longtime lurker here at RSFPT who burst out of the darkness and into the pre-Rolling Rally celebration at Fenway Park last Friday morning. He was kind enough to share his great shots with us, so here they are along with some of his thoughts on the ceremony/boat launch. Thanks, John! Take it away....

Doors opened at 8 a.m.; I got there at about 8:45 after fighting the crowds and deciding to walk as opposed to waiting in the massive crowds queued for the T. There were already large crowds gathered up on the streets around Fenway and Boylston (which I walked down to the park). The police presence was huge as expected and there were probably 100 cops inside Fenway milling about prior to the parade starting.

It looked like somewhere around 2,500 fans were in the park, all clustered around sections 14/15. The duckboats lined the warning track and the stage was set up directly over the Sox dugout (the players came up from the dugout to stairs onto the stage). Several of the duckboats had beards on them, which was a nice touch.

The Boston Marathon bombing victims and first responders were seated in the EMC level behind home plate.

They ran a slightly tweaked team video before the presentation. It still had the short clips of Ortiz, Victorino, and Pedroia speaking but it ended with a “2013 World Series Champions” logo.

The interviews (which were broadcast on NESN, so I won’t bother recapping them here) were somewhat tedious in all honesty. The crowd’s completely dead reaction to Tom Werner trying to start a nonrhythmic chant of “Let’s go Red Sox!” sums it up. I enjoy Don Orsillo in the booth during games, but he’s just not a strong interviewer and Jenny Dell as the sidekick doesn’t work in the least.

Ortiz was the highlight and the one everyone was waiting for; he clearly got the biggest reaction (followed by Pedroia & Lester). He came on stage and opened his shirt to reveal a WWE Championship belt and then did the “Boston Strong” flexing pose to a crowd pop.

To end this part of the celebration, Gomes joined the Dropkick Murphys (and Wally) and sang “The Boys Are Back,” which was his walkup song throughout 2013. He ending by saying to the crowd, “You guys hold it down, I’ve got a championship parade to attend!”

The duckboats began to roll until the Dropkicks’ flatbed literally got stuck in the Fenway dirt (which was mud) for about 20 minutes. That stalled out the parade a little, but all the players just chilled out on the boats and most of the fans stayed in the park.
 After the parade finally got rolling and the boats left Fenway via the outfield gate, the announcement came over that fans were asked to exit Fenway Park through the field. I was in the outfield grandstands at the time and people just jumped the wall and wandered onto the outfield grass, so I did the same. It’s the first time I’ve ever been able to walk on the actual grass at Fenway, so that was a great postscript to the parade for me. I wasn’t able to fight back through the crowd and actually see the parade going down the street, but the up-close glimpse more than made up for it. I walked down Boylston as the parade made its way toward the Museum of Science and the street was still packed; all the bars had long lines in front of them (this was about 11 a.m.) and tons of people were just milling about. It’s such a unique experience to see the city during this sort of celebration; it was like New Year’s Eve on a Saturday morning.

Thanks again to Jere for the hookup!

Some notes from the day:

The box score from Game 6 was still up on the Green Monster.

John Henry joined Werner and Lucchino onstage but never actually said a word, he just stood there awkwardly.

Noticeably, to me at least, Salty, Ellsbury, and Napoli didn’t get to talk.

John Lackey was drinking a Miller Lite at about 10:15 a.m. to kick off the celebration. He got a well-deserved name chant from the crowd to which he gave a smile and a thumbs-up. Quite a contrast from 2011 . . .

Fenway infield dirt is different from warning track dirt.

The paint on the World Series field logo has flecks of glitter in it. Kinda cool.

Jake Peavy showed he’s rapper rich by buying the duckboat he rode in after the parade to take home to Alabama.

I loooove the shot of the waiting crowds out by the Shell station, taken from the back of the grandstand inside the park.
Mom here: Thanks, John L. Great shots. I wonder if Peavey is going to park the duck boat in his driveway.
Love all the shots of Section 36!
Exiting through the field must have been a great treat.
Thanks for the feedback! From what I've heard, Peavy owns a large amount of acreage back home in the South. I can fully picture him driving this thing around in backwoods with the wooden Indian as co-pilot...
Great pics/notes from the day John! Getting to walk out onto the field sounds awesome.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States