Shipping Up To Boston: Youth And The Red Sox

By Greg O’Brien, Codfish Press

Boston youth, take note, with apologies to the psalmists: the city is yours, “and all it contains.” 

Once a place dominated by sedate old Yankees (excuse the pun), holding court in mahogany boardrooms as dark as a late afternoon in January, youth now owns this town, and we’re better for it. For the young bring more energy, tons of it, a clearer vision for the future—their future—and the resolve to walk in their dreams. This isn’t your grandfather’s Boston, and a cosmos from the world of “first Bostonian” William Blaxton, who lived alone in 1625 in an area that is now Boston Common and Beacon Hill. The “Athens of America” has morphed into a city of far greater promise. Shout it out for Boston. The torch, as JFK would say, has been passed to a new generation, and the ruling class must now mentor. “Down by the river; down by the banks of the River Charles.” Oh, we love that Dirty Water. Boston, no longer the essence of old-school, you’re their home. 

No where was this more apparent in this city of champions than in yesterday’s feting of Red Sox, with the swagger of yet another pageant in February with an “under-achieving” football club named the Patriots. As cigar-chomping closer Jonathan Papelbon, dressed in a kilt, jigged to the Dropkick Murphy’s “Shipping Up To Boston” theme for the movie, “The Departed,” with his broom guitar, youth and the young at heart stood shoulder-to-shoulder in a wave of red and blue that crested on City Hall Plaza—packed with a crowd that looked at one point as if it exceeded the population of the State of Rhode Island and framed in the distance by the new Boston emerging downtown and springing up from the vacuous parking lots of South Boston, not far from where young Boston rebels more than two centuries tossed tea into the harbor, signaling a change of heart and direction. Whew!

Symbolizing the new Boston, it was youth—Papelbon and company—that delivered Boston its second World Series championship in four years and the auguring of more to come with the announced departure of A-Rod from nemesis New York.

“It took Jacoby Ellsbury all of 47 major-league games to win a World Series and Dustin Pedroia 184 games, so forgive the two if they’re wondering what all the fuss is about,” notes sportswriter Jeff Blair, noting they “barely broke a sweat” in doing so. “Babe Who?”

Forget the Babe. Forget Pedro. Forget Clemens. Not that we couldn’t get here without the high-priced bats of elders Manny and Ortiz. Manny being Manny, however, will always be a kid, but Ortiz, a larger-than-life mentor and father figure has carried this club and this city, and is an example for other veterans of Boston’s business, financial, medical, educational sectors to follow.

Gotta love that Dirty Water if you’re young and in Boston. The city is yours. Revel in it!

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