11/22/2004 11:31 PM ET
Fans, Sox enjoy World Series DVD
Francona, Nixon, Timlin join big crowd for premiere
By Ian Browne / MLB.com
|Red Sox fans admire the World Series trophy, held by reliever Mike Timlin. (Brita Meng Outzen/MLB.com)
BOSTON -- They all knew the ending. And that is precisely why roughly 3,500 die-hard Red Sox fans gathered for a joyous viewing Monday night at the Wang Theatre.
The featured attraction? The premiere of the Official 2004 World Series DVD, which was produced in riveting fashion by Major League Baseball Productions.
This event was anything but anti-climactic. In essence, it was a chance for those assembled to fully digest the accomplishments of a team that re-wrote history.
Red Sox manager Terry Francona came to town for the event and was given the red carpet treatment, along with right fielder Trot Nixon and veteran setup man Mike Timlin. Also on hand were team president/CEO Larry Lucchino, former Sox pitcher Luis Tiant and many other club employees.
Much like their fans, the Red Sox are still realizing the reality of what they accomplished, which is why they looked forward to watching it on the big screen.
"Every time someone introduces me and they say the World Series champion [Red Sox], that hits me like you can't believe. I love that," said Francona. "When it was over, it kind of felt like Christmas. You just rush up to it, and then it's gone. It's hard to put into words. That last out in St. Louis came so quick, and then it's over."
There was a certifiable buzz in the crowd as the show was about to begin. "Let's go Red Sox," was chanted all across the theater, from the lower sections to the balcony.
Before the curtain was raised, Francona, Nixon and Timlin stepped on the stage and hoisted the championship trophy -- fresh off a day-long trek to Central and Western Massachusettes -- for everyone to see.
"None of us have seen this video yet," Francona said to the audience. "So let's sit back and watch it because I think you'll like the way it ends."
Truth be told, those in the audience seemed to enjoy the whole show, from the early segment at snow-covered Fenway Park and the sunny shots of Spring Training, right down to the breathtaking accomplishments against the Yankees and Cardinals.
The narrator of the DVD was actor/comedian -- and Boston native -- Denis Leary.
While there were countless player sound bytes throughout the DVD, many of them couldn't be heard because the assembled crowd was cheering as if they were watching the events live from Fenway Park instead of an indoor theater.
The audience was at its loudest for the back-to-back walk-off hits by David Ortiz in the ALCS against the Yankees and, of course, for that World Series championship-clinching tapper back to Keith Foulke.
The DVD will be available for purchase in stores all across New England beginning on Tuesday, as well as online at mlb.com.
Nixon, whose third-inning, bases-loaded double on a 3-0 pitch in the World Series clincher iced the sweep, is looking forward to even more extensive viewing from his North Carolina home this winter.
"I haven't had an opportunity to sit back and watch the games. I'd like to watch them on DVD so I can fast forward through certain areas and just sit back and watch, starting from the first game of the ALCS through all four games of the World Series," said Nixon. "Hopefully I get an opportunity to do that over the holidays, especially Thanksgiving. My brother and I and my father and my nephew and my brother in law and my father in law, we can sit there and talk through each game. As far as it sinking in, it hasn't."
For the Red Sox, the past few weeks have been a major balancing act between relishing the glory and gearing up for the title defense.
"We have to divide things between the showhorses and the workhorses," said Lucchino. "This is pretty darned exciting for everybody. This is the pinnacle because of the dramatic way we came back against the Yankees, and the remarkable achievement of blowing through a really strong Cardinals team and then winning it here for the first time in 86 years."
For the first time since his being drafted by the Red Sox in 1993, Nixon will not have to go through the winter wondering if the championship drought will be snapped.
"It means a lot," said Nixon. "I was born and bred with the Red Sox organization. Since '93 I've spoken to a lot of fans who were in desperate need of winning a world championship. That's what I wanted to do. Beat the Yankees and have an opportunity to go to the World Series. We lived it this year."
Nixon and many others were able to relive it Monday night.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.