10/28/2004 3:12 AM ET
Spanning the globe to see history
Fans come from far and wide to see Sox win in St. Louis
By Alyson Footer / MLB.com
|Bronson Arroyo (left) celebrates with Red Sox fans that stayed to cheer on the team after Boston won the World Series on Wednesday. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS -- The game had been finished for a good two hours, but the party was still going strong. But hey, when you've waited 86 years for your team to win the World Series, who cares about time?
Thousands of Red Sox fans stood atop the seats behind the visitors dugout at Busch Stadium, not moving, as they soaked in every moment of the celebration that was taking place just feet from them on the very field where the Red Sox had just completed an improbable World Series sweep with a 3-0 win over the Cardinals.
Many of these fans had come from faraway places, and spent thousands of dollars, and were not going to miss one minute of the euphoria that swept across Red Sox Nation when one of baseball's oldest franchises won its first championship title in 86 years.
And the Red Sox players responded to the fans, sharing the moment with them instead of retreating to the clubhouse to have a more private celebration. A champagne-soaked Mike Myers jumped on the dugout and high-fived fans. Derek Lowe soon followed and did the same thing. Curt Schilling waved to the crowd, gave the thumbs-up, and then put Dave Roberts on his shoulders as the outfielder held the World Series trophy high above his head.
The common chant of "Let's Go Red Sox" was replaced by "Thank you Red Sox" from the 5,000 or so fans whose presence was heard throughout Busch Stadium during Game 4, despite being outnumbered by 47,000 or so fans who were hoping to see one Cardinals win before the Series ended.
Many Red Sox fans shed happy tears. Still more were on their cell phones, sharing the moment with loved ones and friends who were not lucky enough to be there in person.
Others were just thanking their lucky stars they were there to witness this historic moment, even if it emptied their wallet a little bit.
Earlier on Wednesday, Bostonian Paul Mastrioanni was driving from Providence, R.I., where a business meeting was just cancelled. Instead of heading home, Mastrioanni hopped on I-95 South, drove to the airport, walked to the ticket counter and spent $1,700 on a ticket to St. Louis.
Then his secretary got on the phone with a ticket broker and found a ticket to Game 4 for $1,200.
"I have no suitcase, no hotel room, nothing," Mastrioanni, 41, said. "But I was 12 years old when my father brought me to Game 6 in 1975. I watched [Carlton] Fisk's home run. I'm teary-eyed, speechless. We just never thought this would happen."
Compared to 45-year-old Doug Howland and his 15-year-old daughter, Chikae, Mastrioanni was shopping in the bargain bin. Howland is an investment banker in Tokyo and flew all the way to St. Louis just for Game 4.
|The 2004 Red Sox are just the fourth team in World Series history to sweep the series without ever trailing in any of the four games:|
"My daughter was born in 1988," Howland said. "The Red Sox have never been to the World Series since she was born until this one. So she had to come see it."
When the Red Sox beat the Yankees in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series, Howland started thinking about coming to the States for the World Series.
Not wanting to jinx the Sox, Howland simply told his wife to be prepared for a bombshell.
"I said to my wife, 'I can't say why, but don't make any plans because in three to four days I may have an idea."
When the Red Sox secured a World Series berth, Howland started securing tickets. It cost he and Chikae $10,000 to fly to St. Louis and $5,000 for two tickets behind the Red Sox dugout. And Howland was planning to take his daughter to every game of the World Series.
"I said you better hope it finishes [in four] because if it doesn't go four games, you may not be able to go to university, because we won't be able to afford it," Howland joked. "But then I told her, this is better than going to university."
Anyone from Red Sox Nation would surely agree, especially after watching Pedro Martinez run up and down in front of the dugout with the trophy held high above his head. To the players, the fans were clearly as much a part of this celebration as were the wives and children who joined in on a chaotic scene on the field.
One Red Sox fan's sign spoke volumes: "86 years, 1,033 months, 31,458 days -- but who's counting?"
And a Cardinals fan summed it up pretty well himself as he headed to the exit gates of Busch Stadium:
"If you're going to lose, you lose to Boston," he said. "Not New York."
Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.