Red Sox raised a banner, welcomed old friends, and celebrated their championship
The Red Sox, who have had plenty of practice, delivered another rousing championship celebration before Tuesday’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays.
With the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra playing in right field, banners for the franchise’s nine championships were unfurled on the Green Monster, with the 2018 banner capping it off.
Then a selection of players from the 2004, ’07, and ’13 teams took the field. That group — Orlando Cabrera, Manny Delcarmen, Keith Foulke, Mike Lowell, Pedro Martinez, Will Middlebrooks, Mike Napoli, David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Curt Schilling, Mike Timlin, and Tim Wakefield — received loud applause.
Led by manager Alex Cora, the members of the 2018 team then received their rings and were congratulated by principal owner John Henry, team chairman Tom Werner, Fenway Sports Group partner Linda Henry, team president Sam Kennedy, and president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski.
World Series heroes Nathan Eovaldi and Steve Pearce received particularly loud cheers from the crowd, as did David Price, who was the first player introduced.
“Today was a special day and I told them to enjoy it,” Cora said.
After the Canadian and American national anthems by the Pops and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, 23 Patriots emerged from left field along with the team’s six Super Bowl trophies.
Those on hand included Joe Cardona, Patrick Chung, Julian Edelman, Stephon Gilmore, Rob Gronkowski, Duron Harmon, Jason McCourty, Matthew Slater, Joe Thuney, and Deatrich Wise.
Edelman, Gilmore, and Gronkowski threw out first pitches to, respectively, Pearce, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Mookie Betts.
Bradley and Gilmore attended the University of South Carolina at the same time and are good friends.
The ceremony lasted approximately 50 minutes.
Ring ’em up
The World Series rings, made by Jostens, have 21 rubies making up the team’s “B” logo on top. The team said that represents the four championships won over 17 years under the Fenway Sports Group.
There are 14 diamonds on each side of the top of the ring and 22 blue sapphires surrounding the logo.
Two rows consisting of 128 diamonds recognize the 119 victories last season and nine championships by the franchise.
The left side displays eight pennants featuring the years of previous championships, with a larger 2018 pennant.
The right side of the ring has the recipient’s name and number along with a Fenway Park logo.
The inside of the ring is customized with an image of the Commissioner’s Trophy signifying the number of rings the player, coach, or staff member has won with the organization.
Also on the interior is “10-28-18,” the date of the final game of the World Series, and the words “Damage Done” along with the recipient’s signature.
The bottom of the ring has “Team For The Ages.”
Among those receiving rings Tuesday were Steven Wright, who is serving an 80-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs, and Carson Smith, who was signed to a minor league contract and is recovering from shoulder surgery. Brandon Phillips, who appeared in nine games, also returned to Fenway.
Sandy Leon, Tony Renda, Sam Travis, and Bobby Poyner will receive their rings before Triple A Pawtucket plays Thursday.
Jalen Beeks (Rays), Joe Kelly (Dodgers), Ian Kinsler (Padres), Drew Pomeranz (Giants), and Hanley Ramirez (Indians) will receive theirs before games later this season.
Other rings will be presented in person when possible.
Manny happy returns
Ramirez, the 2004 World Series MVP, has turned down invitations in the past to participate in championship celebrations. But the 46-year-old former slugger, who also starred for the ’07 champs, decided Tuesday’s celebration was a good time to swing by Fenway again.
“They’ve invited me a couple of years, but I’ve been so busy with the family,’’ said Ramirez, who is married with three children. “I wanted to come and say hi to the fans, and I’m here.
“When I came to Boston [as a free agent in December 2000], I knew it was going to be tough. But it also made me a better player,’’ he said. “I know sometimes a lot of people saw that maybe I was not working that hard. But I was working hard. I was doing my thing and putting my numbers up.”
Ramirez hit .312 with a .999 OPS and 274 home runs before his 2008 trade to the Dodgers. Overall in his 19-year career, he batted .312 with a .996 OPS and 555 home runs, numbers worthy of Hall of Fame induction.
But suspensions in 2009 and ’11 for violating Major League Baseball’s performance-enhancing drug policy have severely hindered his chances. Ramirez has never received more than 23.8 percent of the vote in his three years on the ballot. Seventy-five percent is required for induction.
“I hope to, I hope to,’’ said Ramirez when asked if he expects to make it someday. “But in life, everybody makes mistakes. Nobody is perfect. I think with time and God’s will we’re going to be there. But if not, we’re just happy that we got the opportunity to play the game that we love.”
Johnson could return
The Sox initially feared lefthander Brian Johnson suffered a season-ending elbow injury on Friday. But tests showed inflammation and he should be able to return . . . Infielder Marco Hernandez, who last appeared in the majors in 2017, is just about fully recovered from three rounds of shoulder surgery and is slated to join Single A Salem on April 17 . . . Infielder Tzu-Wei Lin was optioned to Pawtucket to make room for Dustin Pedroia on the roster. He stuck around to receive his ring . . . The Blue Jays were without catcher Luke Maile and first baseman Justin Smoak because of stiff necks . . . The cramped visitors’ clubhouse at Fenway was remodeled. The trainer’s room was relocated and the coaching staff given a separate locker room . . . The game was the first in history with two Puerto Rico-born managers. “I don’t want to take that for granted. It’s a big deal in Puerto Rico,” Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo said. Said Cora: “I’m very proud of Charlie. His path to the big leagues was a lot different than mine. He paid his due in the minor leagues.”
Manfred on hand
Commissioner Rob Manfred attended the game and helped present the rings to the players. Earlier in the day he toured the athletic facilities at Boston College with athletic director Martin Jarmond and former Red Sox CEO John Harrington, a BC alumnus . . . There was a moment of silence before the game to honor the memories of Red Sox employee John Welch, Globe baseball writer Nick Cafardo, and Rommel Jordan, the brother of Blake Swihart. There was a photo of Cafardo and a bouquet of flowers at the press box seat he had for years. The Toronto chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America also made a contribution to the Jimmy Fund in tribute to Cafardo.