Eight-year-old Amanda Dronzek got to touch three Red Sox stars in her first parade day. Jon Lester, Jake Peavy, and Xander Bogaerts shook her hand and signed her baseball at Fenway Park, shortly before players rolled down the parade route in triumph.
It was more than she could take.
“This was amazing,’’ Amanda, of East Greenwich, R.I., said, starry-eyed. “I have never done this in my entire life.”
While a lot of adults were pumping their fists or singing Bob Marley assurances at their second or third World Series victory parade, the youngest fans were dazzled by their first. Slung over their parents’ shoulders or clutching hands, it was a newfound thrill for them. They blew horns, hoisted World Champs placards, and screamed and shouted.
Nicholas Senecal of Pawtucket, R.I., was giddy with joy and expressed himself like only a 6-year-old boy would — spreading his arms like wings and whirring around his mother. His 13-year-old brother, Jonathan — snapping pictures on a camera — responded with muted teenage excitement.
How did he feel about being at his first Sox parade, a reporter asked him. “Good,” he said.
Conor Glynn, 5, and his brother, Ryan, 3, traveled from Trumball, Conn., with their parents Betsey and Sean to savor the moment. Both wore matching red Pedroia jerseys.
“We came as a couple in '04,” said Betsey, 46. “We’re both big Red Sox fans, and this time, we wanted our kids to experience the joy of winning.”
Their sons were delighted to find a balloon artist making Red Sox balloon art for just the cost of a tip. Ryan donned a balloon made into a black beard, while Conor waved a green balloon made into the shape of Sox mascot Wally The Green Monster.
“It feels pretty good,’’ said Kyle Josefiak, a 7-year-old from Connecticut, as he held onto a World Champs placard.
He got inspired to come because his father, David, is a longtime fan. They wanted to share the experience.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing,’’ said David Josefiak. “I wanted to bring him here with me to witness this in person.”
Along Boylston Street, Conner McGee of Oxford was also enjoying being part of Red Sox Nation. And he was thrilled to watch the stars go by, especially David “Big Papi” Ortiz.
“They’re just good players,” said 8-year-old Conner.
The parade’s newest fans came from all over the region, including New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Many of them were too small to see above the adults and were given props to assure them a bird’s-eye view. Some stood on tables; others brought ladders.
Jacob Greene, 7, of Newton, caught the Red Sox bug from his parents and uncles early in his life. He and his father, Zachary, spent the early morning jammed with the throngs in front of the Prudential Tower on Saturday morning. He was thrilled to see his favorite stars, Ortiz and left-fielder Jonny Gomes, in the parade.
His highlight from Saturday, however, happened along the parade route when former pitcher Dennis Eckersley, now a Red Sox commentator on NESN, threw a Red Sox bracelet into the crowd. It fell on the ground and a woman gave it to Jacob, who wore it proudly as he and his father sought another glimpse of the Sox from the Esplanade.
Asked who is her favorite player on the Sox team, 3-year-old Maddie Cariglia of Auburn replied: “Tom Brady.”Meghan E. Irons can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @meghanirons. Kathy McCabe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @globekmccabe.