Red Sox in clear

Boston Red Sox players celebrate after beating the St. Louis Cardinals 3-0 in Game 4 to win the...

Boston Red Sox players celebrate after beating the St. Louis Cardinals 3-0 in Game 4 to win the World Series Wednesday in St. Louis.

BOB ELLIOTT -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:57 AM ET

As Al Pacino said in The Godfather: "Today, we settle all family business."

The pain, the heartache and the futility of being a member of the Boston Red Sox family or a card-carrying member of Red Sox Nation came to an end at 10:40 Central time last night.

Keith Foulke fielded Edgar Renteria's comebacker, threw to first and the Sox and their fans celebrated at Busch Stadium.

Tears and cheers soon followed.

Somewhere last night Babe Ruth was feeling single and drinking doubles.

The curse of the Bambino, now in its ninth decade, after the Sox sold his contract to the New York Yankees on Jan. 3, 1920, for $125,000 US and a $350,000 loan, was officially over.

Of all the great Sox players and Hall of Famers, this one-win-at-a-time group with as many different hairdos as carefree personalities, is the first in Sox uniforms to sip champagne since 1918.

Righty Derek Lowe settled family accounts for right-handers Luis Tiant, Jim Lonborg and Cy Young, who was so good they named an award after him.

Lowe worked seven scoreless last night.

"I wish we could get our rings tomorrow," Lowe said.

"Unbelievable -- no more going to Yankee Stadium and having to listen to '1918.' "

Centre fielder Johnny Damon hit a leadoff homer and a triple to ease the pain of Dominic DiMaggio, the pain of never winning and just missing being elected to the Hall of Fame.

Trot Nixon hit three doubles, the second a two-run shot to right on down-Broadway, easing the pain for former Sox outfielders Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski.

Acclaimed the game's greatest hitter, with 521 career homers, despite serving five years in the military, Williams made the Series once and hit .200.

Yaz won the Triple Crown in 1967 and was the final out of the 1978 playoff game against Goose Gossage.

Shortstop Orlando Cabrera didn't hold onto the ball, as Johnny Pesky did in 1946, allowing Enos (Country) Slaughter, of the Cards to race home with the winning run.

"There are millions of Sox fans very, very happy tonight," Bellhorn said. "A year ago I was with the Chicago Cubs. Now I'm here. I never dreamt of this. Sox fans have been so close so many times before for so many years.

"It's an awesome feeling to know you have made so many people happy."

Still a coach with the Sox, Pesky, who hooked so many balls down the right-field line at Fenway the foul pole is named after him, received the largest ovation of anyone in a Boston uniform before Game 1.

On the eve of the opener he said: "If the Sox win, I can die a happy man."

First baseman David Ortiz doubled to celebrate the missed chances of George (Boomer) Scott, Dick (Dr. Strangeglove) Stuart and Pete Runnels.

More often they were the WoeSox rather than the BoSox.

"I was in the dugout in 1975 and in 1986 we were that close," said executive vice-president Dick Bresciani, before heading downstairs last night. "After a while you wonder whether we would ever win."

Cincinnati's Tony Perez hit Bill Lee's lob pitch over the Monster helping the Reds go on to a 4-3 win in Game 7 of 1975. A strike away from winning the Series in Game 6, Sox watched their 5-3, 10th-inning lead over the New York Mets vanish like a prop in a Vegas magic show on three knocks, a wild pitch and a ground ball as innocent as Hillary Duff.

Mookie Wilson's ground ball slithered through Bill Buckner's legs to force a Game 7, which the Mets won, recovering from a 3-0 Red Sox lead.

"I thought about my father Lou, who died in 1997," Bresciani said. "He lived and died with each Sox game. He watched the Sox on TV, the night before he died.

"All the chances we had, all those times in the post-season, even my first year ... "

In 1972, the Sox took a slim half-game lead over Detroit only to see Luis Aparicio stumble rounding third and retreat, only to find Yastrzemski there with a stand-up triple. That mistake allowed the Tigers to win, clinching the division.

GOING CRAZY

"We know what we've done," Mike Timlin said. "How people will be going crazy back home from Maine to the Cape.

"It's a great feeling, like that commercial where the guy keeps saying 'this is great, this is great,' but you can't describe how great it is. It's indescribable."

Team Tragedy is now sipping champagne and feeling no pain.

It's difficult to see the Sox -- -- their $129 million US payroll, the second highest in the majors -- as either an underdog or a Money Ball team, yet that's how they will be portrayed in some places.

Why North America fell in love with the Sox was the litany of past failures, near misses and almosts.

Family business was settled last night on all counts.


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