boston.com Sports Sportsin partnership with NESN your connection to The Boston Globe

The youngsters turn out

Pint-sized fans know favorites and have opinions on future

Who's your Papi?

''David Ortiz!" chanted 5-year-old Bridget Crane of Arlington, squirming and giggling, a white ''Bye-bye Babe!" T-shirt hanging down to her knees.

David Ortiz, agreed 4-year-old Alyssa Walsh-Piwowarski of Beverly, curly pigtails bobbing, a big blue and red temporary ''B" tattoo on her right cheek. '' 'Cause he hits home runs," she said, seriously.

''I think I saw him," whispered Christina Bulkeley, 6, of Boston, from underneath a rain-soaked Sox cap, as the star players rolled by in Boston Duck Tours amphibious vehicles just before 11 a.m. yesterday, tossing red, white, and blue tissue confetti.

The youngest fans of Red Sox Nation came out in droves for the victory parade, perched high on parents' shoulders, chairs, ladders and light poles.

Their enthusiasm showed in their gear: championship T-shirts and sweatshirts, Sox baseball caps, painted faces, and even Red Sox hair scrunchies. They waved homemade signs, pennants, brooms (symbolizing the sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series), and Red Sox balloons on little sticks. They squealed and screamed and blew loudly into red plastic horns, right into their parents' ears.

And while they cheered for all the Red Sox players, they have their own favorites.Lauren LaCava, Christina Bulkeley's 9-year-old cousin from Reading, fancies Johnny Damon, and she screamed loudly when he rolled by. It's the hair, Lauren admitted, sitting on top of a ladder her mom, Karen, positioned near the parade route on Boylston Street.

James Callanan, 8, of Dedham, agreed that Damon is the best. '''Cause he can run fast," he said, peeking out from under his father's rain cape. Then, warming up, he added a few more. ''I like Manny 'Mamirez' too, and Pedro and Johnny Damon, actually, Big Papa, too."

Nonetheless, James had big plans for his idols yesterday. ''When the Red Sox people come, I'm going to spray them with silly string," he confided, grinning.

Sean Carnes, 10, of Hopkinton is a huge Curt Schilling fan. Yesterday, standing outside Citizens Bank -- where employees handed out free cake, rain capes, and T-shirts -- he clutched a bag filled with commemorative newspapers and signs.

He's thinking ahead, he said. Schilling is in it for the long haul, and Martinez is a free agent.

''He's the best pitcher, and he's better than Pedro," Sean said, as his mom Nancy shot him a look. ''And he'll be back next year, and Pedro might not."

Stevan Tempesta, 8, who traveled with his father from Bedford, N.H., was on Boylston Street by 7:30 a.m., just to get a glimpse of Schilling. He wasn't disappointed and even got pictures as the player rolled by, waving.

''I watched every playoff and every World Series game," Stevan said, his eyes lighting up under a new cap, with ''World Series Champions" on it. But, he admitted sheepishly, ''I fell asleep in the last game."

With the parade over, father and son were heading for Abe & Louie's Steak House for a late breakfast. His pockets were full of confetti ''to show all my friends at school," he said. ''I'm just lucky."

Parade stories
Parade photo galleries
NESN parade video
SEARCH THE ARCHIVES
 
Today (free)
Yesterday (free)
Past 30 days
Last 12 months
 Advanced search / Historic Archives