Red Sox Nation, of which Maine is a proud part, desperately wanted a World Series victory this year — as with any other year. Well, we got it Wednesday night. Now, Maine cities don’t want to be left out of the celebration.
The push is on to bring the World Series trophy to the northern reaches of Red Sox Nation — Bangor and Presque Isle — where the golden emblem would be on display for some especially proud and loyal fans.
Bedecked in fake beards, members of the committee to bring the trophy to Bangor signed an invitation to the Red Sox on Thursday. In the Queen City, the golden tribute to a historic season would go on display at the new Cross Insurance Center. Presque Isle has also put itself in the running for some trophy time.
There’s a good shot the trophy will show up in a number of Maine cities. In 2004, the trophy made its way to both Bangor and Presque Isle, along with Bethel, Lewiston, Newry and Portland. More than 1,000 people waited for their chance to see it in Bangor; in Presque Isle, more than 2,500 turned out at the Aroostook Centre Mall. The following spring, the trophy made appearances in Augusta and Waterville.
After the Sox’ 2007 World Series victory over the Colorado Rockies, the emblem visited Bangor and Orono.
It’s only right that the trophy make its way around Red Sox Nation after Wednesday’s victory. The 2004 victory — also over the St. Louis Cardinals — was special, to say the least, after an 86-year dry spell. The 2007 victory was special, too.
But this year’s World Series victory has even more meaning. It was the first World Series victory for the Red Sox on the team’s Fenway turf since 1918, the start of the 86-year dry spell. It was also Game Six of the series. “Game Six” earned a legendary reputation during the 1975 World Series; that 12-inning game, on Oct. 21, 1975, is considered one of the best in baseball. The Red Sox defeated the Cincinnati Reds, keeping their World Series hopes alive, only to lose the next game.
Through it all, Mainers — at least most of them — have remained devoted Sox fans. They deserve to see their team’s trophy this year as a reward for their loyalty.
But Maine fans will have to compete for their chance to celebrate with the trophy.
To start, Sox Nation is large. Fans are spread across the country and, indeed, the world.
Just as Bangor, Brewer and Presque Isle kicked off their campaigns to get a visit from the trophy, a group of hard-core Red Sox fans in Nova Scotia began pressing just as hard for the same opportunity. The Bluenose Baseball Brotherhood is making its case for a spot on the Sox trophy tour.
Bangor can make its case by virtue of its connections to this year’s Sox squad. Third-base coach Brian Butterfield is an Orono native. Shortstop and third baseman Xander Bogaerts played in Bangor in 2009 in the Senior League World Series for his Aruba team.
Since that case might not be strong enough, advocates for a Bangor visit can also point out that even Yankees fans came out for the World Series trophy visit to Bangor in 2004.
We’ll add our voice to the cry: Bring the trophy to northern Red Sox Nation.