ST. LOUIS – Camera flashes scattered through Busch Stadium (search) like a Christmas tree with blinking white lights through a living-room window.
From the moment Lou Brock lobbed in the first pitch to the F-14s shaking the foundation of everyone and everything in downtown St. Louis, you knew this was going to be a night for the history books.
For Bostonians, destiny had finally come.
As fans reminded us, it had been 86 years, enough time to wage world wars, walk on the moon, add sound to movies and add television to the world.
In this, the 100th World Series, it seemed only appropriate that the team that won the first one would win again.
On this night, wearing red was a safe bet. The so-called blood moon (for its color) fit right in with the scarlet-clad Cardinals and Red Sox fans all through St. Louis' downtown, with the Gateway Arch (search) towering above.
Even the fountains across the street from the park spouted red water as people chowed on bratwurst and St. Louis' finest barbecue.
Our location was next to Gate 8, right behind the left-field bleachers. Not a bad seat to witness history.
We have been lucky to see historic events of all kinds, but this one was different. It wasn't a war, an election or a great person passing on. This was just a sport — but for so many it meant so much more.
One fan showed me his gravestone which read, "The curse: 1918-2004. Rest in Peace."
He and his girlfriend made the trip from Boston to finally see it end. They were lucky enough to get tickets.
Another man said he had been circling the stadium for more than an hour, one finger in the air; no takers.
A father and son told me, "We need two tickets, but only one person has approached us and he wanted $1,500 for each!"
From Worcester to the Cape and out to points all across the country, the Red Sox faithful came to see it end.
"It" is the infamous Curse of the Bambino — the supposed hex Babe Ruth (search) put upon the Red Sox after being sold to the Yankees almost a century ago. It made names like "Bucky," "Boone" and "Buckner" painful reminders that Boston hadn't ended up on top since Woodrow Wilson was president.
But on this night, New England would succumb to elation not seen since the colonists dumped tea into Boston Harbor.
As one fan put it, "I am stunned. I thought this would never happen. Can you believe it? ... The Sox have won the Series!"
On the 18th anniversary of their Game Seven loss to the New York Mets, Boston never trailed and fans whose great-grandparents dreamed of this day finally got to celebrate a win in a city known as Baseballtown USA.
In the St. Louis airport earlier in the day, it seemed that every flight was half-filled with Red Sox fans. With smiles as wide as Gateway Arch itself, they made their way downtown, decked out in red and finally prepared to forgive misfortunes of years past.
After the game two fans carried a massive white sheet that read, "Bill Buckner ... we forgive you."
Somewhere Buckner and so many others blamed for prolonging the Babe's nuisance are smiling, or at least resting a bit easier.
This time Casey didn't strike out. He knocked it out of the yard.