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Tim O’Sullivan: Red Sox redeemed

  • Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz lifts relief pitcher Koji Uehara after Boston defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6 of baseball's World Series Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. The Red Sox won 6-1 to win the series. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz lifts relief pitcher Koji Uehara after Boston defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6 of baseball's World Series Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. The Red Sox won 6-1 to win the series. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • Boston Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino celebrates after hitting a three run RBI double during the third inning of Game 6 of baseball's World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

    Boston Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino celebrates after hitting a three run RBI double during the third inning of Game 6 of baseball's World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina looks back as home plate umpire Jim Joyce calls Boston Red Sox's Jonny Gomes safe on a three-run double by Shane Victorino during the third inning of Game 6 of baseball's World Series on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. At rear from left are Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury, Xander Bogaerts and David Ortiz. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

    St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina looks back as home plate umpire Jim Joyce calls Boston Red Sox's Jonny Gomes safe on a three-run double by Shane Victorino during the third inning of Game 6 of baseball's World Series on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. At rear from left are Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury, Xander Bogaerts and David Ortiz. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

  • Boston Red Sox's Stephen Drew throws over St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Carpenter (13) to turn a double play on a ball hit by David Ross during the third inning of Game 6 of baseball's World Series Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Boston Red Sox's Stephen Drew throws over St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Carpenter (13) to turn a double play on a ball hit by David Ross during the third inning of Game 6 of baseball's World Series Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Boston police officer Steve Horgan, greets Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Junichi Tazawa as he walks to the bullpen during the third inning of Game 6 of baseball's World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    Boston police officer Steve Horgan, greets Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Junichi Tazawa as he walks to the bullpen during the third inning of Game 6 of baseball's World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Boston Red Sox's Stephen Drew throws over St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Carpenter (13) to turn a double play on a ball hit by David Ross during the third inning of Game 6 of baseball's World Series Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Boston Red Sox's Stephen Drew throws over St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Carpenter (13) to turn a double play on a ball hit by David Ross during the third inning of Game 6 of baseball's World Series Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Boston Red Sox's Shane Victorino, left, and Jonny Gomes react between the fourth and fifth  inning of Game 6 of baseball's World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

    Boston Red Sox's Shane Victorino, left, and Jonny Gomes react between the fourth and fifth inning of Game 6 of baseball's World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Boston Red Sox's Jacoby Ellsbury gets past St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Kevin Siegrist as he makes it safely back to first on a rundown during the fifth inning of Game 6 of baseball's World Series Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Boston Red Sox's Jacoby Ellsbury gets past St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Kevin Siegrist as he makes it safely back to first on a rundown during the fifth inning of Game 6 of baseball's World Series Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

  • Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Koji Uehara and catcher David Ross celebrate after getting St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Carpenter to strike out and end Game 6 of baseball's World Series Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. The Red Sox won 6-1 to win the series. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

    Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Koji Uehara and catcher David Ross celebrate after getting St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Carpenter to strike out and end Game 6 of baseball's World Series Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. The Red Sox won 6-1 to win the series. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Koji Uehara, left, holds the championship trophy with teammate Junichi Tazawa after defeating the St. Louis Cardinals in  Game 6 of baseball's World Series Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. The Red Sox won 6-1 to win the series. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

    Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Koji Uehara, left, holds the championship trophy with teammate Junichi Tazawa after defeating the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6 of baseball's World Series Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. The Red Sox won 6-1 to win the series. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

  • Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz lifts relief pitcher Koji Uehara after Boston defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6 of baseball's World Series Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. The Red Sox won 6-1 to win the series. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz lifts relief pitcher Koji Uehara after Boston defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6 of baseball's World Series Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. The Red Sox won 6-1 to win the series. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

  • St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina looks back as home plate umpire Jim Joyce calls Boston Red Sox's Jonny Gomes safe on a three-run double by Shane Victorino during the third inning of Game 6 of baseball's World Series on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. At rear from left are Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury, Xander Bogaerts and David Ortiz. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

    St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina looks back as home plate umpire Jim Joyce calls Boston Red Sox's Jonny Gomes safe on a three-run double by Shane Victorino during the third inning of Game 6 of baseball's World Series on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. At rear from left are Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury, Xander Bogaerts and David Ortiz. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

  • Boston Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino celebrates after hitting a three run RBI double during the third inning of Game 6 of baseball's World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

    Boston Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino celebrates after hitting a three run RBI double during the third inning of Game 6 of baseball's World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

  • Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz lifts relief pitcher Koji Uehara after Boston defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6 of baseball's World Series Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. The Red Sox won 6-1 to win the series. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
  • Boston Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino celebrates after hitting a three run RBI double during the third inning of Game 6 of baseball's World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
  • St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina looks back as home plate umpire Jim Joyce calls Boston Red Sox's Jonny Gomes safe on a three-run double by Shane Victorino during the third inning of Game 6 of baseball's World Series on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. At rear from left are Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury, Xander Bogaerts and David Ortiz. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
  • Boston Red Sox's Stephen Drew throws over St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Carpenter (13) to turn a double play on a ball hit by David Ross during the third inning of Game 6 of baseball's World Series Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
  • Boston police officer Steve Horgan, greets Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Junichi Tazawa as he walks to the bullpen during the third inning of Game 6 of baseball's World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
  • Boston Red Sox's Stephen Drew throws over St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Carpenter (13) to turn a double play on a ball hit by David Ross during the third inning of Game 6 of baseball's World Series Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
  • Boston Red Sox's Shane Victorino, left, and Jonny Gomes react between the fourth and fifth  inning of Game 6 of baseball's World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
  • Boston Red Sox's Jacoby Ellsbury gets past St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Kevin Siegrist as he makes it safely back to first on a rundown during the fifth inning of Game 6 of baseball's World Series Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
  • Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Koji Uehara and catcher David Ross celebrate after getting St. Louis Cardinals' Matt Carpenter to strike out and end Game 6 of baseball's World Series Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. The Red Sox won 6-1 to win the series. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
  • Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Koji Uehara, left, holds the championship trophy with teammate Junichi Tazawa after defeating the St. Louis Cardinals in  Game 6 of baseball's World Series Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. The Red Sox won 6-1 to win the series. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
  • Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz lifts relief pitcher Koji Uehara after Boston defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6 of baseball's World Series Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. The Red Sox won 6-1 to win the series. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
  • St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina looks back as home plate umpire Jim Joyce calls Boston Red Sox's Jonny Gomes safe on a three-run double by Shane Victorino during the third inning of Game 6 of baseball's World Series on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. At rear from left are Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury, Xander Bogaerts and David Ortiz. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
  • Boston Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino celebrates after hitting a three run RBI double during the third inning of Game 6 of baseball's World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, in Boston. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Ever since July, Shane Victorino has been striding to home plate at Fenway Park to the Bob Marley song “Three Little Birds.” The Boston fans have been singing along, serenading the Boston right fielder with the line, “Don’t worry about a thing / ’Cause every little thing gonna be all right.”

After the performance from Victorino and the Red Sox last night in Game 6 of the World Series, the Fenway faithful can croon another Marley tune to their team – “Redemption Song.”

Sparked by four RBI from Victorino, Boston beat St. Louis, 6-1, to claim the 109th World Series. The Red Sox became just the second team in Major League Baseball history to win it all after finishing in last place in their division the previous year. The worst-to-first turnaround also erased the leftover fried chicken and beer stains from the team’s collapse in 2011. All is forgiven with a championship.

This title may not taste as sweet as the one the Red Sox won in 2004 to end 86 years of drought and misery, but it does have a special home-cooked flavor. This marks the first time since 1918 the Sox have clinched a championship at Fenway, the ballpark that doubles as a family heirloom in these parts, passed down through generations.

The titles in ’04 and 2007 were

finalized in St. Louis and Colorado, respectively, but this one came at home, right where it belonged. All season long this team has formed a special bond with its town. It started when the Sox hung the “Boston Strong 617” jersey in their dugout after the marathon bombings, and it fittingly ended with last night’s win at beloved Fenway where everything, little and big, was more than all right.

The redemption theme was woven throughout this game. Victorino had to sit out the last two contests with back pain, and he was hitless in his last 10 at-bats before he came to the plate in the third inning and more than made up for his absence by ripping a three-run double off the Green Monster. The blast gave Boston a 3-0 lead, sent the crowd into delirium and changed the complexion of the game, turning a tense pitchers’ duel into a pre-parade party.

The good times kept rolling in the next inning when Stephen Drew took his turn in the revival tent. While Victorino had already come through with one enormous playoff hit, the game-winning grand slam in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series (his last hit before last night’s bases-loaded double), Drew had been an offensive disaster in the postseason. The Red Sox shortstop was 1-for-15 in the World Series and 4-for-50 in the playoffs before he led off last night’s fourth inning with a solo home run to make it 4-0.

Boston tacked on two more runs in the fourth on RBI singles from Mike Napoli and Victorino, two players who many believed were on the decline when they arrived in Boston during the offseason. That’s a pretty nice decline that ends with a pair of rings.

But the greatest role reversal belonged to the winning pitcher, John Lackey. No one symbolizes the Red Sox redemption more than Lackey.

He is now the only pitcher in history to start and win two World Series clinching games with two different teams. The first time he did it was back in 2002 for Anaheim, but what makes his story appropriate for this team and this title is how his time in Boston unfolded.

Ever since he joined the Red Sox in December of 2009, Lackey has been a whipping boy. He’s been criticized for his contract, his personal life, his press conferences, his pitching and his part in the 2011 September debacle. Some of it was justified, some of it wasn’t. But when Lackey showed up to spring training this year in the best shape of his life, he began to change opinions.

The transformation continued during the regular season as Lackey pitched better than he had during any time in his Red Sox career. And when he won a 1-0 game in the ALCS against Detroit ace Justin Verlander, the turnaround was complete. Well, almost complete. Lackey added the final touches last night as he gave up nine hits but allowed just one run in 62∕3 innings, and then tipped his cap to the crowd when he left the game. It was the first full tip of the cap this season from Lackey, who didn’t take kindly to all of the criticism in Boston, but it was just that kind of forgiving night in Fenway.

The only Red Sox players who needed no atonement were David Ortiz and Koji Uehara. Ortiz went 0-for-1 last night, but he drew four walks (three intentional), scored a pair of runs, finished the series 11-for-16 with six RBI and was the no-brainer choice for MVP. Uehara, Boston’s closer extraordinaire, appropriately finished things off with a 1-2-3 ninth inning, and then started the championship celebration with his face-splitting smile.

All that’s left to do now is put beards on the duck boats, make way for a parade and cue up the Marley. ’Cause every little thing gonna be all right.

(Tim O’Sullivan can be reached at 369-3371 or tosullivan@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @timosullivan20.)

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I remember staying up in '04 and calling my dad at what must have been close to midnight. Born in 1926, he'd never experienced a Red Sox world series win. That will still be the most special Sox series win of my life. But they did it again in '07. And now for the third time in 10 years, they're World Series champions. From worst to first in their division, then American league champs, now a third ring for Big Papi! Because of what happened to us on April 15th, this victory is worth so much more. Here's to you Red Sox nation, BOSTON STRONG!!!!

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