It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE GAME.
1. Jose had planned something else for this first KEY. To be honest, when he started writing these KEYS, he hadn’t seen the ring ceremony yet. He was at a meeting in Fall River during the ceremony and he missed it. He just got to see it on the replay at 11PM Tuesday night. He figured that he could write a few quick KEYS about it, get some laughs, or not, no problem.
But things changed. He actually watched the ceremony. And it mattered to him. It really mattered to him. Jose had thought that after the long, wonderful winter, he had worked the sentimentality out of his system, that while the joy of the championship remained immeasurable, that overwhelming emotion of the night they won, even the overwhelming emotion of the following week, was gone forever. And then the team started coming out. Terry Eurona came out looking healthy and strong. Megatron Lowe came out wearing a BU cap. David Ortiz came out and reminded everyone that he is the greatest clutch hitter in Red Sox history. Red Sox legend Dave Roberts came out and was reminded that his one little steal was greater than all of Ricky Henderson’s put together. Chang Lee came out and got one of the most perplexingly large ovations of the afternoon. Curt Euro came out walking effortlessly in clean white socks. And Johnny Pesky? Johnny Pesky, the man who has spent more time with this organization than any other, the man who exemplifies what it is to be a Red Sox came out and got the ring that he earned, got the ring that he deserved… And it all came back, the joy, the exhilaration, the sense that a great burden was gone and that the world had begun anew.
For one little hour, this silly little ceremony with the shiny baubles and spunky songs, the old friends and the rippling banners brought it all back. For one hour it was October 27, 2004 again, and God did it feel good.
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