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MacLeod: Red Sox win eases wounds from Boston Marathon bombings

Boston Red Sox fans celebrate after Boston defeated St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6

Associated Press

It is a city still rattled by the aftershocks of a senseless act that killed four people and maimed hundreds more after bombs were set off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon in April.

The game of baseball has now done its part to help ease some of that pain as elation, not dismay, erupted on the downtown streets after the Boston Red Sox dumped the St. Louis Cardinals 6-1 to win the World Series.

It was the third title in 10 seasons for the Red Sox, but this one was special, unfolding within the friendly confines of Fenway Park.

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It marked the first time since 1918 that the Red Sox have managed to win the title at home and the city erupted in an emotional bear hug.

The reminders of the Boston Marathon bombings were everywhere; from the Boston Strong patches the Red Sox players wore on their sleeves to the "B Strong" logo that was mowed into Fenway's outfield grass.

After Boston closer Koji Uehara struck out Matt Carpenter to end the game revelers throughout the city started to converge on the streets in what was a euphoric moment.

"Fireworks lit up the night sky and the bars and restaurants in Yawkey Way were overflowing with revelers, a scene repeated all over a city that had triumphed after the April 15 tragedy had left its streets silent, empty and soaked with blood," writes Julian Lindon for Reuters.

There was the usual silliness associated with such celebrations, with instances of inebriated young men climbing hydro poles and pounding on cars according to this story carried on CBS Boston.

Initial reports were that Boston Police arrested nine people for unruly behaviour.

The Associated Press reports that the celebrations also turned destructive at several college campuses in New Hampshire where police had to use pepper spray and pepper balls to break up crowds of students.

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But there were also touching moments as a large crowd moved down Boylston Street where at least one Red Sox fan was pictured bending down and kissing the yellow stripe that designates the Boston Marathon finish line.

And as if the Boston Police did not have enough worries to deal with, U.S. President Barack Obama was also in town – not to attend the game but to try to drum up support for his health insurance law.

Reuters reporter Roberta Rampton writes that while Obama mostly steered clear of the Red Sox baseball mania that was gripping the city he did joke that he briefly considered growing a beard for the occasion.

The President quickly added it was a non-starter as Michelle, the first lady, "wasn't having it."

Of course, the epicentre of the festivities was Fenway itself where one unidentified Canadian fan shelled out more than $12,000 for the privilege of being able to attend the World Series.

Ben Reiter writes in SI.com that it was Boston starting pitcher John Lackey who helped to deliver the unexpected title to the Red Sox.

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It all wouldn't have been possible were it not for the heroic efforts of Boston slugger David Ortiz, the Series' most-valuable player.

Ortiz, who batted .688 in the championship, was so dominant at the plate that the Cardinals just stopped trying to get him out according to this report carried on ESPN.com.

The Globe's Robert MacLeod curates the best of sports on the web most weekday mornings.

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