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Why Steve Pearce's heroics meant something more to his Boston sports-loving family

Rob Bradford
October 29, 2018 - 3:35 am

LOS ANGELES -- It started in Rehoboth, eventually growing with another stop in North Attleboro and then Lakeland, Fla. Steve Pearce Sr. fell in love with the Red Sox.

After his family moved to Florida when he was 13 years old, Pearce kept wearing his Red Sox hat while routinely making the trip over to watch his team at its Winter Haven spring training complex.

"I was out there getting all the foul balls," he told WEEI.com. "I would bring them on the bus. I went over to Winter Haven all the time. I used to have so many autographs but then we ended up playing with the balls."

Sunday night the infatuation with his hometown team went to a level few could ever imagine. Steve Pearce Sr. was standing on the Dodger Stadium field watching his son Steve Jr. accept the MVP of the World Series. It was a dream come true for any parent, but the scenario was made that much more surreal due to the evolution of an entire family's fandom.

"I'm speechless," said Steve Sr., wearing a shirt with the Red Sox logo on the chest. "It's just unbelievable."

Considering how the Red Sox had been infused in the Pearce family for more than 50 years, witnessing Pearce serve as the offensive hero for the newly-crowned World Series champs was the kind of punctuation few could have ever imagined. And the disbelief didn't end with the family's patriarch. 

In among the Pearce family's on-field celebration was Steve Jr.'s younger brother, Chad. One look at his wallet allowed for a glimpse into the family's passion for Boston sports, with "Patriots" imprinted into the leather. Oh, and then there was his young son, who he named "Brady" but called "Tommy." You can probably guess why.

The Boston sports fanaticism had clearly been passed down.

According to Chad, this was evident from an early age, when the three brothers used to take turns hitting lefty while imitating Mo Vaughn's batting stance. Or watching Steve Jr. imitate Nomar Garciaparra's batting glove ritual all throughout Little League.

Their father loved the whole Red Sox thing and so did they.

"We were outside so much that our dad built a shower outside and a water fountain so we wouldn’t have to go inside dirty or go inside to get drinks. It was awesome," Chad said. "It’s an absolute dream. You never expect a family member to make the World Series. It’s just an out of body experience. I feel like I’m floating right now."

And no matter what happens with Steve Jr. -- who is going to be a free agent -- going forward, the family has lived the perhaps the best dream any group of lifelong Red Sox fans could hope for.

"He’s had moments but the opportunities weren’t always there," said Steve Sr. of his oldest son. "He was the type of guy who had to work his way through the minor leagues, and the only way you get out of the minor leagues is you have to hit your way out there. Which he did.

"We all hugged. We are just so excited he is finally, we feel, getting what he deserves. He has worked so hard. All of this stuff, going through all of this season after season. A lot of times he is hurt really bad but if he sits out somebody is going to take his spot. But tonight he paid for it. To do what he did these last few days I just feel like it’s meant to be. He deserves it."