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As game time neared, fans and police officers filled Yawkey Way and Lansdowne Street and Brookline Avenue and Van Ness Street and every souvenir shop within shouting distance of Fenway Park. The lucky ticket-holders in the crowd shrugged off parking prices that soared past $40 at the most convenient lots. Instead, they focused on their good fortune, hoping they would witness an ALCS-clinching victory. All around, the pungent smell of grilled sausage mixed with an air of anticipation.

The sights and sounds around Fenway Saturday night revealed a united Red Sox Nation, a group of beard believers.

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