By Ronald Blum
BOSTON — There hasn’t been a party like this in New England for nearly a century.
Turmoil to triumph. Worst to first.
David Ortiz and the Boston Red Sox, baseball’s bearded wonders, capped their remarkable turnaround by beating the St. Louis Cardinals 6-1 in Game 6 on Wednesday night to win their third World Series championship in 10 seasons.
Shane Victorino, symbolic of these resilient Sox, returned from a stiff back and got Boston rolling with a three-run double off the Green Monster against rookie sensation Michael Wacha.
John Lackey became the first pitcher to start and win a Series clincher for two different teams, allowing one run over 6 2-3 innings 11 years after his Game 7 victory as an Angels rookie in 2002.
With fans roaring on every pitch and cameras flashing, Koji Uehara struck out Matt Carpenter for the final out.
The Japanese pitcher jumped into the arms of catcher David Ross while Red Sox players rushed from the dugout and bullpen as the Boston theme “Dirty Water” played on the public-address system.
And the Red Sox didn’t have to fly the trophy home. For the first time since Babe Ruth’s team back in 1918, Boston won the title at Fenway Park.
The 101-year-old ballpark, oldest in the majors, was packed with 38,447 singing, shouting fans anticipating a celebration 95 years in the making.
Across the Northeast, from Connecticut’s Housatonic River up to the Aroostook in Maine, Boston’s eighth championship will be remembered for all the beard-yanking bonding.
Ortiz, the only player remaining from the 2004 champs, had a Ruthian World Series.
He batted .688 (11 for 16) with two homers, six RBIs and eight walks — including four in the finale — for a .760 on-base percentage in 25 plate appearances.
The win capped an emotional season for the Red Sox, one heavy with the memory of the events that unfolded on Patriots Day, when three people were killed and more than 260 wounded in bombing attacks at the Boston Marathon.
The Red Sox wore “Boston Strong” logos on their left sleeves and erected a large emblem on the Green Monster as a constant reminder.
Lackey pitched shutout ball into the seventh, when Carlos Beltran’s RBI single ended the Cardinals’ slump with runners in scoring position at 0 for 14.
Junichi Tazawa came in with the bases loaded and retired Allen Craig on an inning-ending grounder to first. Brandon
Workman followed in the eighth and Uehara finished.