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MLB Boston Red Sox

5 Things Boston Red Sox Fans Can Be Thankful For

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5 Things Boston Red Sox Fans Can Be Thankful For

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Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

While sports on Thanksgiving usually revolves around the pigskin, that doesn’t mean Boston Red Sox fans can’t take a moment to look back and recognize the things they can be thankful for from the 2013 Boston Red Sox season.

The season that ended with the Red Sox lifting the trophy as World Series Champions had plenty of highs and lows. The season didn’t seem to really start until one fateful day, April 15. A day that is usually a day of joy, Patriots Day in the New England area and Jackie Robinson Day across baseball, turned into tragedy with the bombings at the Boston Marathon.

After the suspected bomber was apprehended and the Red Sox took the field again, the team that many picked as fourth or fifth in the division suddenly looked like contenders.

The Red Sox also dealt with a long list of injury issues. Two players brought in over the past two years to take over the closer role were placed on the 60-day DL early in the season and underwent surgery that ended their year. Clay Buchholz spent a couple of months on the DL with neck and shoulder issues, and starting third baseman Will Middlebrooks struggled so much he was sent back down to AAA for an extended period of time.

Typically light-hitting Jose Iglesias suddenly began hitting to lessen the loss of Middlebrooks at third and was able to be traded for starting pitching help. Koji Uehara stepped up and was the best closer in baseball down the stretch, and John Lackey stepped up and pitched like a top of the rotation guy again.

Despite those guys stepping up, none made the cut as the top five things Boston Red Sox fans can be thankful for this Thanksgiving. The following five, however, did make the cut.

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5. Boston Strong

Boston Strong
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

In my intro I made reference to the terrible events that were the Boston Marathon Bombings, but one thing the bombings did create was the phrase Boston Strong. Nowhere was this phrase so greatly celebrated in a public forum than Boston Red Sox games.

All season the Red Sox had a uniform hanging in the dugout with those two words and the number 617, the area code for Boston, and regularly had survivors of the bombing throwing out first pitch. I proudly wear my Boston Strong shirt and, despite living on the West Coast, chose to rep Boston Strong while celebrating the Red Sox title rather than a Red Sox jersey. I am thankful the Red Sox were able to make help the entire country show their pride for the city of Boston.

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4. Beards

Beards
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

No, seriously, Boston can be proud of those beards. Now, granted, the day after the Boston Red Sox won the World Series, my fiancé handed me clippers and said it was time for mine to go, but Red Sox fans can be thankful for the beards across the country inspired by the team. The 2013 Red Sox bearded group had an element to the team not unlike the “idiots” of 2004, and Red Sox fans can be thankful for all the fun the beards provided.

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3. Dustin Pedroia

Dustin Pedroia
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY

In a season before Robinson Cano hit the market asking for 10 years and $300 million and a full season and a half before hitting the open market himself, Dustin Pedroia, a Boston Red Soxclubhouse leader, took less than market value on a contract extension to ensure he remains a member of the Red Sox for the foreseeable future. Pedroia is a fan favorite who wants to be call Boston his home for the rest of his career, and he took a huge step in making that happen. He kept the contract reasonable to help ensure the Red Sox stay successful during the rest of his time in Boston.

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2. David Ortiz

David Ortiz
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY

What David Ortiz did in the 2013 World Series was second to nobody. In fact, without David Ortiz in the postseason who knows if the Boston Red Sox even make it out of the first round, but his contributions go beyond what he did with a bat in his hands. One day in April of this year, he stepped onto the field of Fenway Park and uttered five words on live TV that will live on forever: “This is our ******* city”. In the wake of the Marathon Bombing he wasn’t just speaking to those in the stadium that day but to everyone across the country. Red Sox fans can be thankful for him and his words that day.

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1. World Series Title

World Series Title
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Yeah, this one might be obvious, but let’s face it; for the next 11-plus months Boston Red Sox fans get to be World Champions. Short and sweet, but it pretty much speaks for itself.