For the fourth time since 2005, Fenway Park opened a new baseball season with a special ceremony. A new World Series banner was raised, and championship rings were handed out.
A packed crowd ignored the chilly weather, celebrating the 2018 Red Sox one final time at the 2019 home opener. It was a display filled with Boston sports stars past and present, ushering in the new season with historical flourish.
It began an hour before first pitch with fanfare from the Boston Pops, conducted by Keith Lockhart. Accompanied by the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, the musical arrangement included an unsurprising choice: “We are the champions,” by Queen. Banners of previous World Series titled were draped over the Green Monster as fans cheered, culminating with the unveiling of the 2018 version.
Past Red Sox winners were also marked by the presence of a few familiar faces who carried in the World Series trophies. The procession emerged from out of the Green Monster, led by 2004 champions Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, and Manny Ramirez.
It concluded with David Ortiz walking with the next most recent trophy (from 2013). Ortiz, retired since 2016, filmed the entire display on his phone for an Instagram live video.
The ring ceremony came next, with manager Alex Cora leading the way. One by one, Red Sox players and members of the organization walked out to receive their shimmering 2018 World Series championship rings. Included in the group was, for the first time in the 2019 regular season, second baseman Dustin Pedroia (activated to the roster only hours earlier following a long rehab from injury).
As a group, the Red Sox walked triumphantly to center field to raise the team’s latest banner on the flagpole. The crowd roared its approval.
One final twist lay in store, though it was hardly a surprise. After it was announced beforehand that the Patriots would be represented following yet another Super Bowl win, Fenway fans were kept waiting until right before first pitch against the Blue Jays.
The Patriots walked in from the outfield toting their six Vince Lombardi trophies. The team’s 23-player representation included Julian Edelman, Stephon Gilmore, and the newly retired Rob Gronkowski. The trio collectively threw out first pitches.
Never enough trophies. ? pic.twitter.com/jmAtjj6yY6
— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) April 9, 2019
Having assembled an incredible group of championship trophies (as well as many of the athletes who helped win them), the celebratory moment finally came to an end as the Red Sox took the field to get their first home game of the new season underway.