Ortiz, Sox gave Boston a reason to party

This club’s beauty isn’t its in-dividual players, but the char-acter of the team as a whole.

Boston Red Sox fans can’t be blamed for rioting. The Red Sox rallied from three games down in the series, winning four straight games against the hated Yankees to clinch their first World Series appearance since 1986.

Boston has a history of rioting, so last week’s riot was only natural. Remember the Boston Tea Party? Bostonians, fed up with the tea tax, raided ships and dumped all of the English tea into Boston Harbor.

Now, with the Red Sox inching closer and closer to a World Series title, Red Sox Nation is growing exponentially. With a prehistoric Johnny Damon, an injury-fighting Curt Schilling, a jerry-curled Pedro Martinez and former Minnesota Twin David Ortiz; it is hard to stay off the bandwagon.

Ortiz has driven home runs into orbit this postseason, lifting the Red Sox past the Angels and Yankees en route to the series.

When the Red Sox eliminated the Yankees, the stunned look on Derek Jeter’s face was worth a million dollars, but the looks on the faces of the Red Sox fans were priceless. Screaming mouths stretched open to their thresholds, tears of joy in the eyes of men and women, distraught Yankee fans in disbelief and, of course, the cheery faces of all the children.

A picture tells a thousand words. Find any single photograph from the Red Sox Game 7 victory and look past the action on the field to the looks on the faces of the crowd. Relief, revenge, delight and disbelief are some of the many thoughts and feelings expressed in one of those snapshots.

The great thing about sports is that for one moment, you can escape from the stresses of work, school and life, come together with tens of thousands of strangers and unite to cheer for one team.

The World Series sets a stage that amplifies every emotion generated by sports. It adds suspense and puts the title of World Champion on the line. When a team captures that title, its entire fan base feels the pride.

For the Red Sox Nation, that pride is long overdue. Not since 1918 has that pride been felt. Sure, they have made it to the World Series between then and now, but those trips were no more than a tease to some of the most rabid baseball fans on the planet.

Legends have passed through town and given up on the franchise in search of a championship. In the modern era, all-star-caliber players, such as Roger Clemens and Jeff Bagwell, skipped town with unsatisfied dreams. Clemens won the World Series with the Yankees, but Bagwell fell short once again this year with the Houston Astros.

The beauty of this ball club isn’t its individual players, but rather the character of the team as a whole. They rub pine tar on their helmets, grow beards, sport mullets and even have cornrows in the bullpen. In contrast to the Yankees, the Red Sox are a blue-collar team to which fans can relate.

George Steinbrenner won multiple World Series with a big purse. This October, the Red Sox, behind diehard fans, hungry players and a little divine intervention, are only innings away from a reverse of “The Curse.”

Mike Durkin welcomes comments at [email protected]