Spring has officially begun in New England: the calendar now reads April, baseball has returned, and Red Sox Nation’s beloved team is back at Fenway Park.
Since the start of Spring Training, the Fenway Faithful have been counting down to Opening Day, and despite a few clouds in the sky, nothing was going to spoil the first day at Fenway in 2014.
“This is baseball weather, this is absolutely baseball weather,” said Mary Beth Bernard of Weymouth. “It’s a new beginning, and we’re going to wrap up last year, and we’re going to do it again this year.”
“[It’s] a little chilly, but not too bad, should be a fun, fun season,” said Mary Hay, also of Weymouth. “It’s our [her and Mary Beth’s] second opening day with a ring ceremony, so it’s special.”
“This is my first Red Sox opening day ever,” said Linda Regele of Holbrook. “I’m excited because we’re going to see the rings presented, I’m going to be able to see the team open for the first time in my lifetime.”
After the tough season of 2012, true Red Sox fans never gave up hope, and despite little expectations going into 2013, people still believed that there was something special about that ball club.
“I walked out [Opening Day 2013] and I said ‘this is the year,’” said Cammy O’Brien of Randolph. “No one at work believed me, no one.”
“I’m the eternal optimist,” said Sean Nyhan of Charlestown. “So I always believe that they’re going to win it every year, so of course I thought ‘Oh, well that was just a bump in the road, and they’ll win it this year.’ Especially once they got Farrell, I thought, that was a good turning point.”
“It got better once the Bobby V was gone,” O’Brien added. “I saw teamwork that I didn’t see the year before.”
“Yes, absolutely,” Bernard said when asked if she thought a 2013 World Series was possible. “Every year, that’s my prediction, we’re going to go all the way, every year.”
“I predicted that too, but I really didn’t think they were going to do it last year after that horrible year with Bobby Valentine,” Regele said. “That was the worst season I’ve had as a Red Sox fan… I think he was quite a bit of the problem.”
“No, I never imagined that we would have won the World Series, but they did it, they fooled us all,” added Hay.
The allure of baseball has also transcended the generations, passing from parents to children, and then on to their children’s children. Sean Nyhan has been to 12 straight Opening Days at Fenway, and this year he brought his 9-year-old daughter Laurel to her first Opening Day.
Laurel was excited that there would be a ring ceremony on her first Opening Day.
With slightly higher expectations heading into 2014, Red Sox Nation is confident that this team will become the first MLB club to win back-to-back World Series titles since the 2000 New York Yankees.
Bernard, Regele, and Hay all said without hesitation that the Red Sox would be world champions again in 2014, while Sean Nyhan was confident too.
“If you’ve been a Red Sox fan, you’re used to going through the ups and downs anyway, so you just roll with it, when things are down you just hang in there,” he said. “But of course we expect them to win every year with this team. We as fans expect them to go for it every year and they do. So when they’re not doing well, you just know that eventually they’ll turn it around.
“To quote the famous Curt Schilling ‘Why not us?’ Why not us again? It’s been a while since someone repeated, I think the Yankees did it, so it’s time for us to get a little more payback to the Yankees and maybe win six or seven in a row.”