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World Series win validated the area's strength
Over the years, some people have complained that professional sports have gone from being in-person experiences to being expensive television spectacles. Even with prices frozen for 2013, the Red Sox were still the most expensive team to watch in all of professional baseball.
"It's the ballplayers," James Gunnip said as he prepared to board a commuter train in Bradford, Mass., for the ride to Boston and Saturday's parade in celebration of the World Series victory. "They do their job and they go home, just like anybody else."
"It's like a community," Halle Sickel of Hampton said as she headed to Boston with her father, James, for the "rolling rally" parade.
That community of players and fans came together on a Monday in April when bombs exploded near the finish of the BAA Marathon, killing three and injuring more than 260 people, including several from New Hampshire. By tradition, the Red Sox have played at home on the same day as the marathon, giving generations of fans a chance to attend both events.
Survivors seem to appreciate every gesture.
Both Alvaro and Martha Galvis remain out of work because of their injuries. They appreciate the support of the fans who adopted Boston Strong as a motto and the frequent expressions of support from the baseball team.
The exhilaration of the past season may have peaked with Saturday's parade, but some residual effects of the season will be felt throughout the region.
Outfielder Jonny Gomes, one of the bearded heroes of the season, will visit as one of the featured guests at the Granite State Baseball Dinner on Nov. 23.
While the Monarchs compete for local fan dollars, heightened interest in the sport in general can't hurt area ticket sales.
"It's always a good talking point when you're talking with season ticket holders; the longer you talk about baseball, it keeps people engaged."
Longtime baseball fan Mike Grady, owner of Collectors Heaven in downtown Manchester, realizes that times have changed since players such as Frank Malzone, the idol of his youth, returned year after year. But like Malzone's exploits on the field, the 2013 Red Sox will remain fond memories for many Granite Staters.
"A lot of it is the Jimmy Fund and how they're helping out charity," said the woman, who did not want to be publicly identified. "That makes it more of our community that they do that."
"Nothing will be the same; it's hard to match a season like this," said Tom Stickel of Hampton.
Hampton's Brittany Gunnip was with younger family members at the game.
Other New Hampshire traditions were born during the season.
Jeremy Edmond of Auburn had his young daughter Charlotte with him as he waited for the train to the victory party.
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