Today, the annual tradition of handing out the World Series rings was conducted, this year in Boston.
The Boston Red Sox celebrated their 108th Home Opener, and the 96th for Fenway Park, on Tuesday, April 8, 2008 with a pre-game ceremony that celebrated the Club’s 7th World Championship Title and ushered in the 2008 season at home. The ceremony featured the presentation of the 2007 World Championship Rings, the hoisting of the 2007 World Championship Banner, a parade of flags from 62 countries representing the breadth and diversity of Red Sox Nation, a flyover of F-16 jets, and a Ceremonial First Pitch from a Red Sox Alumnus making his long-awaited return to Fenway Park .
The following is a detailed description of each aspect of the pre-game ceremonies.
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Videos of Memorable Moments from 2007: The ceremonies were kicked off with three videos recapping the most memorable moments from the 2007 season. The first video featured game clips from the 2007 regular season that ended with the Sox winning their first American League East Championship since 1995. The second video showcased clips from the 2007 American League Division and Championship Series, the last video highlighted clips from the 2007 World Series where the Red Sox swept the National League Champion Colorado Rockies in four straight games to win their seventh World Championship title.
The Parade of Nations: The recap videos were followed by a parade of flags in front of the Green Monster from 62 different countries that represented the wide-spread appeal of the Red Sox throughout the globe. The nations represented by these flags either count Red Sox Nation members as its residents or have citizens who have been in touch with the Red Sox Front Offices via letters and emails professing their love for the ‘Olde’ Towne Team’. The countries represented were: Afghanistan, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, The Bahamas, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Columbia, Costa Rica, Cuba, The Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, France, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guam, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Venezuela and Vietnam.
The Banners: All seven World Championship banners were ceremoniously unfurled on the Green Monster to the Theme from Jurassic Park, composed by John Williams, which was chosen because of its gentle yet celebratory grandeur. The 2004 and 2007 championship banners spanned the length of the entire left field wall. The Sox are the only Major League Baseball team to win two World Championships in the 21st century. The large 2004 and 2007 banners were all hand-stitched and created by Heritage Flag of South Boston, MA. The swallow-tail banners representing championships in 1903, 1912, 1915, 1916 and 1918 were made by Flag Graphics of Somerville, MA. All flag and banner related logistics were handled on Opening Day by John Coyne of USA Sign in Boston , MA .
Champions of Boston: The pre-game ceremony featured an impressive array of athletes from the Bruins, Celtics and Patriots. The ‘Champions of Boston’ ceremoniously carried the World Championship Rings to be presented to the 2007 Red Sox and handed them over to Red Sox Ownership for presentation.
From the Boston Bruins
- Left Wing John ‘Johnny’ Bucyk
- Left Wing Ken Hodge
- Left Wing Donald ‘Don’ Marcotte
- Right Wing John ‘Johnny’ McKenzie
- Defenseman Bobby Orr
From the Boston Celtics
- Guard/Current Executive Director of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge
- Guard/Forward M.L. Carr
- Guard/Forward John Havlicek
- Guard K.C. Jones
- Center Bill Russell
- Guard/Current Director of Special Projects Jo Jo White
From the New England Patriots
- Linebacker Tedy Bruschi
- Running Back Kevin Faulk
- Linebacker Larry Izzo
- Long Snapper Lonnie Paxton
The 2004 Boston Red Sox
- Infielder Brian Daubach
- Pitcher Curtis Leskanic
- Infielder/Pitcher Dave McCarty
The Championship Trophies: The Champions from each of the four Boston sports franchises were accompanied by one of the Championship trophies that each of those franchises won.
- The Stanley Cup: National Hockey League
- The Larry O’Brien Trophy: National Basketball Association
- The Lombardi Trophy: National Football League
- The Commissioner’s Trophy: Major League Baseball
By Red Sox research, this is the first time that all four trophies have been in one location at the same time
The 2007 World Championship Rings: The 2007 Boston Red Sox World Series Championship ring is cast in brilliant white gold. The top of the ring has twenty-eight round brilliant-cut diamonds channel-set around the bottom of the bezel. On the top of the bezel, recessed in black letters, are the words “World Champions”.
Centered on top of the ring is the Red Sox logo, (a pair of red socks) cast in brilliant white gold each set with four custom fitted natural rubies mounted on a diamond base crest depicting a baseball diamond. The diamond base crest is inlaid with fourteen princess-cut diamonds. The baseball diamond overhangs an inner bezel and is set on a field of four custom faceted synthetic blue sapphires.
The left side of the ring has “7th World Series Championship” in raised relief on a black background. Underneath is a depiction of Fenway Park with “4-0 Sweep” at the bottom of the panel.
There are two versions of the right side of the ring. For those players’ who played on both the 2004 and 2007 World Championship teams, their rings have a panel with the recipient’s name in raised relief on a black background above a maroon-enameled initial “B” between two World Series Trophies. For those players who played only on the 2007 team, their rings have one trophy on the right and a maroon-enameled initial “B” on the left. For all rings, at the bottom of the panel in raised relief is the recipient’s uniform number with the year “2007”.
The inside of the ring is engraved with: “Boston Red Sox” and “10-28-07”.
The ring features a total of 42 diamonds with a total weight of 2.33 carats. The total weight of the ring is 50 dwt.
"The ring is stunning! Clearly reflecting the great care the Red Sox take in recognizing their organization,” said Tim Larson, president and CEO, Jostens. "Jostens is honored to work with Red Sox on the entire process that culminates in the delivery of the World Championship rings for today's historic ceremony."
The Ring Presentation: The rings were presented in nine distinct groups in order: Manager and Coaches; Trainers and Clubhouse Staff; Catchers; Starting Pitchers; Infield; Outfield; Bullpen; Closer; and the Designated Hitter.
The rings for the Manager and the Coaches were given out as the Boston Pops played the Main Theme to the Magnificent Seven, originally composed by Elmer Bernstein, chosen to collectively represent Manager Terry Francona and his team of six coaches.
When the Saints Go Marching In was played during the distribution of rings for the Trainers and Clubhouse Staff.
The Main Theme to Superman, composed by John Williams, was performed by the Boston Pops when Captain and Catcher Jason Varitek, Catcher Kevin Cash and former Catcher Doug Mirabelli received their rings to represent Varitek’s signature at-bat song Kryptonite by the band 3 Doors Down.
The Main Theme to Raiders of the Lost Ark, composed by John Williams, was played as the starting pitchers received their rings. The song was chosen to embody the ‘go-getter’ spirit of the pitching staff that was best embodied by the Indiana Jones character.
The 2007 Infield received their World Championship rings to the tune of the popular James Bond Theme, originally composed by Monty Norman, representing their slick defensive and dashing offensive capabilities.
The 2007 Outfield received their rings to the strains of the John Williams masterpiece The Throne and End Titles in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, which was selected because of its regality and splendor reflecting the myriad personalities of the Red Sox’ spectacular outfield last season.
The Bullpen from last season received their rings to the tune of He’s a Pirate from the Pirates of the Caribbean series, which was chosen to appropriately represent the ‘pirate’ theme that the bullpen went by the entire season last year.
Closer Jonathan Papelbon received his ring to his signature song, Shipping Up to Boston by the Dropkick Murphys
Designated Hitter David Ortiz, received his ring to the Red Sox’ victory song at Fenway Park, Dirty Water by the Standells.
2007 World Championship Flag: Created by Flag Graphics of Somerville, MA, the 2007 World Championship Flag was hoisted on the centerfield banner. The flag went up as the Boston Pops played A Hymn To New England, composed by John Williams and played as a tribute to New England, its people and Red Sox fans who have stuck with the team through the good times and bad.
Flag Military: Members of the Electronic Systems Center and Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford , MA assisted with the giant United States Flag draped on the Green Monster. They were led by Lt. Gen. Ted Bowlds.
National Anthem: The National Anthem was performed by members of the Boston Pops Brass Ensemble led by James Orent.
Flyover: The Flyover was presented by the 158 Fighter Wing ‘Green Mountain Boys’ of the Vermont Air National Guard. Four F-16 ‘Fighting Falcon’ jets flew in and out of Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford , MA for the Opening Day presentation.
Ceremonial First Pitch: The Ceremonial First Pitch was delivered by former Red Sox First Baseman Bill Buckner. Buckner amassed 2715 hits and 1208 RBI in a 21-year career in which he wore the uniform of five different Major League teams. He won the National League batting title with the Chicago Cubs in 1980 with an average of .324 and was named to the National League All-Star Team in 1981. He recorded only 453 strikeouts in 2,517 games and had one of the best at bats-per-strikeout rates in the history of the game. In 1986 he drove in 102 RBI during the regular season to help the Red Sox win the American League Pennant. In Game 6 of the World Series, Mookie Wilson’s grounder through his legs led to Ray Knight scoring the winning run for the Mets, capping a 3-run rally, and pushing the series to a 7th game in which the Sox once again surrendered a 3-0 lead. Marty Barrett made the last out for the Sox with Buckner on-deck as the Mets won the World Series. Buckner played part of the 1987 season before being released on July 23, 1987.
Buckner made a return to the Red Sox in 1990 and played in 22 games before retiring from baseball. Buckner makes his first visit to Boston since September 1997 when was at Fenway as a Hitting Coach with the Chicago White Sox.
Buckner walked out to the Closing Credits theme from the movie Glory, composed by James Horner. The movie is based on the history of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment during the American Civil War and was one of the first formal units of the U.S. Army to be made up entirely of African American soldiers.
Play Ball: The ceremonial pronouncement of “Play Ball” was made by 88-year old Johnny Pesky, who first donned a Red Sox uniform on April 14, 1942, almost 66 years ago.
Source: The Boston Red Sox
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