BOSTON (AP) — Sports fans grown accustomed to the success of their beloved teams lined the streets in the hundreds of thousands on Wednesday to salute the Boston Red Sox on their fourth championship in the last 15 years.
The parade, beginning at venerable Fenway Park, was to wind along several major downtown streets. Players, coaches and team officials climbed aboard amphibious duck boats to show off the team's latest World Series trophy, secured Sunday with a 5-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5.
Police promised tight security, with no public drinking allowed. Fans are also being asked not to bring in large items such as backpacks, coolers and strollers. Roads were closed and parking limited on many streets in and around the route.
Some fans arrived before dawn to stake out the best vantage point, many clad in Red Sox jerseys, sweatshirts and caps.
During a pre-parade ceremony at Fenway, Red Sox manager Alex Cora thanked fans for supporting the team during what he called a "historic season," in which the team won a team record 108 games during the regular season before beating the Yankees, Astros and Dodgers in the playoffs.
"I've been saying since Day One, this is crazy, this is madness," said Cora, adding that his players shared the same high expectations of Boston fans.
"And that's why they are world champs," he said.
Noting the often fickle nature of fans, Cora joked that some might have been ready to have him fired when the team was down 4-0 in the 7th inning of Game 4 of the World Series, with the Dodgers seemingly on the verge of evening the series at that point. But the Red Sox rallied to win that game and wrapped up the title the following night.
Max Colognesi, 16, was one of countless Boston-area students who were skipping classes to take in the parade.
"Everyone is here. It's awesome," said the youth, who was wearing a jersey of Red Sox star Mookie Betts as he stood near the ballpark. "I have a lot of work to get back to when I get home, but it's worth it."
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said he had confidence in security plans in place for the parade.
"If you see something out of the ordinary let us know," Walsh advised fans during an interview with New England Cable News.
The Red Sox also won the World Series in 2004, 2007 and 2013 after previously going 86 years without a title.