Red Sox receive championship rings
BOSTON (AP) The Red Sox received their 2013 World Series championship rings on Friday during a ceremony that also honored victims of the Boston Marathon bombing and two firefighters who died in a blaze last week.
As the ceremony began before the game against the Milwaukee Brewers, banners for Red Sox championship teams from 1903, `12, `15, `16, `18, 2004, `07 and `13 were lowered from the top of the Green Monster.
Family members of victims who died in the bombing last April and survivors walked in from the left-field wall with the rings. John Henry and other members of the ownership group presented them to manager John Farrell, coaches, players and other personnel. Then co-workers from the same station as Lt. Edward J. Walsh and firefighter Michael R. Kennedy walked into center field and embraced and stood beside the players.
Fenway Park is served by the station, located less than 2 miles away.
The ceremony lasted about 50 minutes and preceded Boston’s first game at Fenway Park since it won the World Series there on Oct. 30 by beating the St. Louis Cardinals 6-1 in Game 6.
”This is a day we should all enjoy,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said.
Dustin Pedroia was the first player introduced, and David Ortiz received the loudest ovation when he was the last player who trotted out of the dugout to receive his ring. He also was given a ring for being part of all three Red Sox championship teams over the past 10 seasons.
Two players no longer active in the Red Sox organization also received rings: outfielder Quintin Berry and right-hander Ryan Dempster.
Dempster announced at the start of spring training he will not play this year because of physical and personal reasons.
”It’s just fun to be back around the guys a little bit,” said Dempster, who was 8-9 with a 4.57 ERA in his only season with Boston. ”It’s incredible. It’s going to be a special moment, something that you play your whole career for.”
Among the Marathon bombing survivors and family members honored were relatives of 8-year-old Martin Richard and Krystle Campbell, who both died in the attack, and of Sean Collier, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer killed during the manhunt for suspects.
Carlos Arredondo also was in the group with his cowboy hat. He was in a now familiar Associated Press photograph leading Jeff Bauman, a spectator who lost both legs, from the blast scene in a wheelchair.
After the rings were presented, the 2013 championship banner and American flag were raised in left-center field by players and other ring recipients. Then firefighters of Engine 33 and Ladder 15 entered through the center field door to applause and lowered both to half staff.
There was a moment of silence for the two firefighters who died.
Players representing championship clubs of the other three major professional teams in Boston walked toward the pitcher’s mound: Tedy Bruschi, Troy Brown and Ty Law of the New England Patriots, Leon Powe of the Celtics and Mark Recchi of the Bruins. The Patriots and Powe carried championship trophies, while Recchi drove a golf cart carrying former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino.
With them were former Red Sox players Pedro Martinez, Jason Varitek and Mike Lowell. Each carried a World Series trophy.
Mayor Marty Walsh threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Ortiz.