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November 1, 2013

Series clincher at Fenway seals 'best year' for this Boston fan

BOSTON — Devout Red Sox fans from across the country came here to their baseball mecca in hopes of seeing history made.

Those who were lucky enough to get tickets began lining up at Gate A outside of Fenway Park Wednesday, some four hours before the opening pitch of Boston’s 6-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. They got to witness the first time the Red Sox clinched the World Series at home since 1918.

I did too when a friend emailed me the day before the game to invite me as his guest. I got to experience the passion of Red Sox fandom as I never have.

A man in his 70s came from Atlanta. He was hoping to see the Sox beat the Braves in Atlanta. But the L.A. Dodgers ruined those plans by beating Atlanta in the National League division round series.

An L.A. man who went to law school here in the early 1990s and fell in love with Boston and its team, would have preferred to see Boston play the Dodgers in a West Coast series game. But Fenway was just fine after St. Louis beat the Dodgers.

A young woman from Utah who made going to this year’s World Series a “bucket list” item paid close to $3,000 a month ago, not knowing she would be going to St. Louis and then to Boston to watch her “favorite team.” She has a crush on Sox centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury

There were even some Canadians who came to root the Red Sox on, along with a friend who wore his Toronto Blue Jays cap.

They all came to be part of a memorable night and a fitting finish to a Red Sox season that goes as the most remarkable one I’ve ever witnessed since my dad first took me to Fenway Park to watch the Sox play a season-ending doubleheader 50 years ago when I was just 9.

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