Deval Patrick was not yet governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 2004, when the Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years. Now 41, Patrick weighed in on the generational significance of this year's championship.
"I thought [Red Sox chairman] Tom Werner said it so well the other night, when he said that the 2004 win was for our grandparents and this one was for us and for our kids," said Patrick at Fenway Park on Tuesday morning, moments before the rally was set to begin.
Dave Spurr, 44, of Dedham, Mass., watched the Red Sox leave the stadium from Van Ness Street, where they boarded the Duck Boats. His five-year-old son, Frankie, clung to a fence, angling for a glimpse of Curt Schilling and Josh Beckett.
"I don't know when he'll get another chance to come," Spurr said. "So I got him out of school today so he could come down."
Frankie was two years old when Boston won it all in 2004.
"He doesn't understand," Spurr said. "He thinks they win it every couple of years now. I mean, the Yankees have never won in his lifetime."
"My dad never saw them win," said Spurr of his father, who was born in 1919 -- the year after the Red Sox's last world championship before 2004 -- and died in 1991.
If Frankie belongs to a more optimistic generation of Red Sox fans, Spurr expressed an outlook that was more old-fashioned.
"[Until] the last out," he said, "you just were never sure."
Mike Chiaravalloti, 17, Richard Hertz, 18, and Trevor Morgan, 18, friends from Rowley, Mass., couldn't make it to the 2004 celebration.
"Dude, because we were, like, 12," Hertz said.
"Yeah, I was 14," Chiaravalloti said. "I was at home. I couldn't drive."
Tuesday's rally didn't just offer the prospect of seeing the Red Sox and the World Series trophy, as the three friends hoped to do.
"I'm here to see the Dropkick Murphys," said Morgan of the Boston-based band, which performed along the parade route. "I'm not going to lie; I got a [guitar] pick from them."
Sawako Yasuda, 28, of Osaka, Japan, a first-year student at Boston University, also showed she belonged to a new generation of Boston fans. She held a poster that read, in Japanese, "Congratulations to [Daisuke] Matsuzaka."
"I'm so lucky," she said. "This is the first year for Matsuzaka [in Boston] and also for me."
There were older Red Sox rooters at the parade. Jim Peake, 54, of Tewksbury, Mass., showed up for both the 2007 and 2004 rallies.
"I was going to be there, no matter what," Peake said.
Of 2007, he said, "It's not as big -- because they did it in 2004 -- but it's still a great accomplishment, for sure."
Another fan disagreed. Del Christman, 52 -- "Dogman," to those who know him as the Class A Lowell Spinners' clubhouse manager -- wore a bushy mustache and a hat festooned with championship pins while posing for photos with fans.
"This rally is going to be better," Dogman said, "because in '04, it was for the people who never saw it in 86 years. Now, this is a new generation of the Red Sox Nation. And there will be more people today than in '04."
Alex McPhillips is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.