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RED SOX WIN FIRST WORLD SERIES SINCE 1918

From The North Adams Transcript, October 28, 2004 - Slightly edited for accuracy

By Mark E. Rondeau

NORTH ADAMS — A thunderous cheer from inside the bar told those outside that there was one out in the last of the ninth inning.

In a scene no doubt replicated in bars and taverns all over New England, jubilant fans jammed the Pitcher’s Mound on Ashland Street last night, watching the final outs of the first World Championship for the Red Sox since 1918.

“Let’s go Red Sox, let’s go Red Sox, let’s go Red Sox,” they chanted.

Beers in hand, many togged out in Red Sox jerseys and hats, the fans kept up a steady stream of noise as they watched the television over the bar. If any Yankee fans were on hand, they kept their presence a secret, and for good reason, for the next chant dealt with the Yankees, and it wasn’t very nice.

“One more out,” was the next joyous chant, after a St. Louis hitter made the second out. “One more out, one more out.”

That out came soon enough from another of the neutralized Cardinal hitters, and what followed can only be described as delirious cheering and screaming and jumping up and down, joined in by a certain local reporter.

The bartender shook up a bottle of champagne and sprayed the joyful citizens of Red Sox Nation. One young man wearing a plastic leg brace over his pants held his crutches in the air and jumped up and down. Not exactly a miracle, but close enough. One young woman held a broom aloft — and a sweep it was.

“Boston, Boston, Boston, Boston,” they chanted. “Boston, Boston, Boston.”

The cheering and yelling paused only briefly — at the bizarre sight on the television of actors Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore kissing on the field in St. Louis. This no doubt was part of the movie involving the Red Sox the two had been filming at Fenway Park in Boston during the season. But who cares about a movie when reality is this good?

“Who’s your daddy, who’s your daddy,” the crowd in the Pitcher’s Mound began to chant, but this quickly lost steam.

Next, in a nod toward history, they began chanting “1918, 1918, 1918,” followed soon after by “No more curse, no more curse, no more curse.”

The cheering eventually died down enough for individuals to talk, and the bartender raised the lights.

“I think it’s terrific,” said Gary Pinsonnault, when asked what he thought of the win. “After all these years, are you kidding me?”

Did he ever think they would win a World Series?

“No, never, never,” he said. “Been a fan my whole life. I was born in ’53. Never thought I’d see it.”

His son, Travis Pinsonnault, said the World Series win was “the best thing to happen since sliced bread.”

“I think it was awesome,” he added. “It was totally going to happen this year.”

Eric Lincourt also said that the victory was awesome. Did he think it would ever happen? “Yep, I knew it would,” he replied.

“My grandma was a lifelong fan,” he said. “She passed away about three weeks ago. Her only dream, really, was to see this happen. I know she’s seen it.”

“I think it’s the best...thing in the whole world,” said Scott Moran. “This was our year.” He pointed out that the Red Sox have six players who will be free agents, and probably can only sign two of them. “It’s as simple as this,” Moran said. “You’ve got to win it when you can. I mean, we had everybody come through.”

Said the man next to him, “They deserved that. They busted their ass...They beat the Yanks by attrition alone.”

Outside the bar a few cars drove by on Ashland Street honking their horns. On the MCLA campus about 10 minutes after the end of the game a few groups of students seemed to be walking around, but no major gatherings or celebrations were visible.

Two North Adams Police Department cruisers made their way along the Ashland Street area near the college, eventually stopping for a time in the vicinity of the young people around the bars on the street.

At the American Legion hall about 15 minutes after the end of the game, the scene was more sedate, the patrons somewhat older than those at the Pitcher’s Mound. Three men stood silently arm-in-arm watching a television as pitcher Curt Schilling spoke to a reporter. A woman at the bar watched an aerial shot on another television of crowds celebrating in Boston and said she wished she was there.

“This was amazing,” said bartender Randy Wood. “I was on my knees when they got the final out. We were counting the outs down, right down from the first one to the last one” during the last of the ninth inning.

When the last Cardinal batter struck the ball, there was a moment of silence: “and then all of a sudden — pandemonium,” he said.

Did he think the Red Sox would ever win the World Series?

“No. I think I’m still in shock. Don’t wake me up,” he said with a laugh. “Oh, it’s great. It was great — it’s unbelievable.”

Wood marveled at what the Red Sox had done, coming back from three games down to the Yankees to win eight games in a row and the World Championship.

Suddenly the people at the bar erupted in a cheer: “So good! So good! So good!”

“This is so awesome. Un-believe-able,” said Debbie Baribeau, stretching out the word. She said she knew the Red Sox would win last night. She was wearing a jacket with “Red Sox” and “1967” on the back. “I absolutely, absolutely knew this was going to happen. I took this coat out of the closet. I knew they were going to do this tonight. This is great.”

We’ve got the Patriots winning the SuperBowl, we’ve got these guys winning the World Series. Now all we’ve got to do is the Celtics, and we’ll have a triple crown.”

Driving along West Main Street around midnight, last night looked like any other night, but a majority of the houses seemed to have a light on or the glow from a television visible behind a shade. Most celebrations of this late-night victory were by necessity held in private. But on this night Red Sox fans did not need to fall asleep to dream an impossible dream.

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