Father, son experience electric Game 6 Sox victory

SP 39 Me and Dad at World SeriesBy Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

Many area fans were glued to their television sets last Wednesday night, keeping their fingers crossed and dreaming of a Red Sox World Series victory.

Chris Webb and his Dad were “in the house” — Fenway Park — to witness a clincher and celebration in Boston — something that hadn’t happened in 95 years.

It was a night neither will ever forget.

“It was an experience like none I had ever experienced, nor had my dad,” said Chris, who is director of Admission & Financial Aid at Bridgton Academy. “When I had first called him to tell him about the tickets and to invite him to the game, he said, ‘This is like a bucket list event, isn’t it?’ It sure was. It was a trip of a lifetime.”

Just how did Chris land a pair of the most sought-after tickets in New England?

“I got a message from a college friend, who let me know he (and another friend — a season ticket holder) were going to Game 6. I had to go. So in the middle of Game 3, I messaged a former college teammate of mine who works for MLB (Major League Baseball).  I was angling for a ticket…just one,” Chris said. “While it wasn’t a given, I knew in my heart the series was coming back to Boston.”

The friend was captain of Chris’ college baseball team at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and is now an MLB executive.

“My friend got back to me immediately and let me know that he could probably do better than one ticket…he could probably do two. ‘Check back with me after Game 4,’ he said. I messaged him moments after the final out…and he messaged me right back. ‘I’ve got two grandstand tickets for you. I can’t tell you if they are good tickets or not, but you’re in the house,’ he said. Suffice to say, I didn’t sleep that night…or the next…or the next,” Chris said.

Who would Chris invite? There was never any doubt in his mind who would accompany him to Boston for the historic Game 6.

“I couldn’t think of anyone better to bring to the game than the guy who introduced me to baseball and brought me to my first Sox game so many years ago (in the early ’80s)! My dad, Mike Webb,” Chris said.

Father and son drove down to Boston on Wednesday morning, having made plans to stay the night (“We didn’t want to miss anything!” Chris said.). They stayed at the Park Plaza Hotel, which is only about 1.5 miles from Fenway Park — a relatively easy walk straight up Boylston Street.

“The excitement around Boston throughout the day was incredible and became more electric as we got closer to game time,” Chris said.

The trip to Fenway also had a very touching moment for the Webbs. The route to the park took them up Boylston Street, past the Boston Public Library, which is where the Finish Line for the Boston Marathon is located.

“I couldn’t help but pause for a quiet moment of silence and reflection as I crossed that line. There were many others taking pictures of the line, reminiscing and pointing at where the unimaginable had indeed occurred,” he said.

As they continued their walk to the park, there was an electric feeling amongst the crowd.

“Having lived in Boston over a dozen years ago, I can tell you in all the times that I have gone to Sox games (including Sox/Yanks — Pedro v. Clemens’ games) I have never, ever been witness to an energy and excitement like the one around Boston last Wednesday,” Chris recalled.

Donning their Sox jerseys — Chris sporting his Ted Williams #9 and his dad wearing his “Pedroia” jersey — the Webbs arrived at Fenway Park about an hour and a half before game time. The park was already about half full when they stepped inside. They walked around for a little bit, but the park started to fill really quickly. Their seats were in the right field grandstands between the field tarp and Pesky Pole.

“The park became full at the ‘t-minus 1-hour to first pitch’ mark. I had never seen it fill in like this before but then again, I had never seen anything like this — it was the World Series!” Chris said. “We stood the entire time waiting for the game to begin. The excitement was palpable and continued to build.”

Fans continued to stand as Red Sox starting pitcher John Lackey threw the first pitch of the game.

“And with a very rare exception (maybe the equivalent of half inning), we remained standing. The crowd hung on every pitch, of every at bat, throughout the game. As a fan of the game of baseball, it was a perfect game,” Chris said.

There were several “highlights” during the game that Chris will long remember:

• Shane Victorino’s three-run double off the Green Monster.

“Fenway Park roared. I’m sure the rafters shook. Complete strangers high-fived, and hugged. I had a good feeling — barring something catastrophic — from that point that the Sox would win,” he said.

• Up 6-1 with two out in the seventh inning, that “catastrophic event” almost happened when Lackey convinced Red Sox Manager John Farrell to stay in the game versus Matt Holliday with two on.

“One swing of the bat and it’s a whole new ballgame. Fortunately, fate was on the Sox’s side this day,” he said.

• Stephen Drew’s solo-shot to the bullpen.

“As anyone who watched the Series knows, Drew struggled throughout the post-season. Everyone in the park knew it as well, so it was fantastic when he connected (for the home run). It was a no-doubter as it left the bat,” Chris said.

• When Lackey left the game, he received a well-deserved, rousing salute from the Fenway faithful. A tip of the cap to the crowd and the decibel level grew even louder.

• As the outs for the Cardinals ticked away, more and more fans began to scream the number remaining.  Chris took a picture of some guys several rows in front of him with just four fingers in the air — signifying four outs remained for the Cards before the Sox won.

• The. Final. Out. “As I mentioned before, no one had been sitting the entire game. Cameras flashed on every pitch to Matt Carpenter (of the Cardinals). I recorded on video the final pitch and the ensuing jubilation. It was pure bedlam in Fenway and we loved it,” Chris said. “Each time that I’ve re-watched that video I get goose bumps.”

Seeing the World Series clinching victory “live” will do that to any fan, especially diehards like Chris and Mike Webb.

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