Texarkana's Middlebrooks relishes World Series Title

Texarkana's Middlebrooks relishes World Series Title

Liberty-Eylau alum Will Middlebrooks spoke with NBC 6 Anchor Lance Snow about winning the World Series with the Boston Red Sox

BOSTON (AP) -- More than an hour after the final out, players lingered on the  field and fans stood by their seats, cheering,         singing and applauding.       

A celebration nearly a century in the making was unfolding at the old  ballpark, a long-awaited moment generations of New Englanders         had never  been able to witness.      

Turmoil to triumph. Worst to first. A clincher at Fenway Park.

David Ortiz and the Boston Red Sox, baseball's bearded wonders, capped their  remarkable turnaround by beating the St. Louis         Cardinals 6-1 in Game 6  on Wednesday night to win their third World Series championship in 10 seasons.       

When it was over, Ortiz took a microphone on the field and addressed the  city, just as he did a week after the marathon bombings         last April.       

" This is for you, Boston. You guys deserve it," the Series MVP said. " We've  been through a lot this year and this is for         all of you and all those  families who struggled."       

And the Red Sox didn't even have to fly the trophy home. For the first time  since Babe Ruth 's team back in 1918, Boston won         the title at Fenway.  The 101-year-old stadium, oldest in the majors, was jammed with 38,447 singing,  shouting fans anticipating         a party that had been building for more than  nine decades.      

" Maybe they won't have to go another 95 years," said John Farrell , a  champion in his first season as Boston's manager.

Shane Victorino , symbolic of these resilient Sox, returned from a stiff back  and got Boston rolling with a three-run double         off the Green Monster  against rookie sensation Michael Wacha . Pumped with emotion, Victorino pounded  his chest with both         fists three times.      

John Lackey became the first pitcher to start and win a Series clincher for  two different teams, allowing one run over 6 2-3         innings 11 years after  his Game 7 victory as an Angels rookie in 2002.      

With fans roaring on every pitch and cameras flashing, Koji Uehara struck out  Matt Carpenter for the final out. The Japanese         pitcher jumped into the  arms of catcher David Ross while Red Sox players rushed from the dugout and  bullpen as the Boston         theme " Dirty Water" played on the public-address  system.      

There wasn't the " Cowboy Up!" comeback charm of " The Idiots" from 2004, who  swept St. Louis to end an 86-year title drought.         There wasn't that cool  efficiency of the 2007 team that swept Colorado.      

This time, they were Boston Strong - playing for a city shaken by  tragedy.

" I don't think we put Boston on our back. I think we jumped on their back,"  Jonny Gomes said. " They wouldn't let us quit."               

After a late-season collapse in 2011, the embarrassing revelations of a fried  chicken-and-beer clubhouse culture that contributed         to the ouster of  manager Terry Francona , and the daily tumult of Bobby Valentine 's one-year  flop, these Red Sox grew on         fans.      

Just like the long whiskers on the players' faces, starting with Gomes'  scruffy spring training beard.

" As soon as we went to Fort Myers, the movie's already been written," Gomes  said. " All we had to do was press play, and         this is what happened."        

The only player remaining from the 2004 champs, Ortiz had himself a Ruthian  World Series. He batted .688 (11 for 16) with         two homers, six RBIs and  eight walks - including four in the finale - for a .760 on-base percentage in 25  plate appearances,         the second-highest in Series history.      

" We have a lot of players with heart. We probably don't have the talent that  we had in `07 and `04, but we have guys that         are capable (of staying)  focused and do the little things," Ortiz said.      

Even slumping Stephen Drew delivered a big hit in Game 6, sending Wacha's  first pitch of the fourth into the right-center         bullpen for a 4-0 lead.  By the time the inning was over, RBI singles by Mike Napoli and Victorino had  made it 6-0, and the         Red Sox were on their way.      

" Hey, I missed two games. It's time to shine," Victorino said.

All over New England, from Connecticut's Housatonic River up to the Aroostook  in Maine, Boston's eighth championship can be         remembered for the  beard-yanking bonding.      

Fans bid up the average ticket price to over $1,000 on the resale market and  some prime locations went for more than $10,000         each. Nearly all the Red  Sox rooters stood in place for 30 minutes after the final out to view the  presentation of the trophy         and MVP award. A few thousand remained when a  beaming Ortiz came back on the field with his son 75 minutes after the final         out.      

" It's so electric in here," Napoli said.

The win capped an emotional season for the Red Sox, one heavy with the memory  of the events that unfolded on Patriots Day,         when three people were  killed and more than 260 wounded in bombing attacks at the Boston Marathon. The  Red Sox wore " Boston         Strong" logos on their left sleeves, erected a  large emblem on the Green Monster and moved the logo into the center-field         grass as a constant reminder.      

" It's hard for me to put sports over a tragedy like that," Lackey said, "  but hopefully people that were affected by it can         forget about it for a  few hours at least."       

Red, white and blue fireworks fired over the ballpark as Commissioner Bud  Selig presented the World Series trophy to Red Sox         owners John Henry ,  Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino, leaving a haze over the field.      

" When the fireworks went off at the presentation of the trophy out there,  when the ballpark was filled with smoke, it was         completely surreal,"  Farrell said. " To be in this position, given where we've come from, reflecting  back a year ago at this         time, there's been a lot that's happened in 13  months."       

Among the players blamed for the indifferent culture at the end of the  Francona years, Lackey took the mound two days shy         of the second  anniversary of his elbow surgery and got his first Series win since the 2002  clincher. He pitched shutout ball         until Carlos Beltran 's RBI single in  the seventh.      

St. Louis had been seeking its second title in three seasons, but the  Cardinals sputtered after arriving in Boston late Tuesday         following a  seven-hour flight delay caused by mechanical problems. Symbolic of the team's  struggles, reliever Trevor Rosenthal         tripped while throwing a pitch to  Ortiz in the eighth, balking Dustin Pedroia to second.      

" They were some frustrated guys in there, but overall you can't ask us to go  about any better than how our guys did," Cardinals         manager Mike Matheny  said. " Not too many people expected us to do what we did."       

Boston was a 30-1 underdog to win the World Series last winter, but joined  the 1991 Minnesota Twins as the only teams to win         titles one season  after finishing in last place. Now, the Red Sox will raise another championship  flag before their home opener         next season April 4 against Milwaukee.       

Gomes was looking forward to Saturday's parade.

" It's time," he said, " to queue the duck boats."

NOTES: Boston also won the Series at Fenway Park in 1912. The Red Sox won the  first World Series in 1903 at the Huntington         Avenue Grounds and in 1916  at Braves Field. ... Ortiz's Game 5 bat is going to the Hall of Fame along with  Uehara's Series   spikes, Ross' Series jacket and Farrell's Game 6 jacket.  Gomes' Game 4 home-run bat arrived in Cooperstown, N.Y., on Wednesday.

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