A Norwood resident and longtime Boston Red Sox nanny will join the team on the duck boats as they celebrate their World Series victory Wednesday.
Ruth Copponi, a former hospital nurse, has been taking care of Sox players' children for 23 years and has become a special part of the families' lives. She and other caretakers watch the children during the games in the Family Room at Fenway Park.
"We start one half-hour before the game, and we remain there a half-hour after while the parents pick up the children," Copponi said. "I've enjoyed working there and all these championships that I've seen."
Copponi has received many special gifts from the Red Sox, including a baseball bat with her name inscribed to honor her for 20 years of service.
But the best part of her job is the children. Copponi has developed life-long friendships with many Red Sox families, including former Sox slugger David Ortiz, his wife and children, who send her Christmas cards.
"Alex Ortiz and her brother were wonderful, wonderful, and David and Tiffany are wonderful parents," Copponi said.
Also rewarding is seeing Red Sox stars - famous athletes and role models - in their most important roles, as parents - regular people with not-so-regular jobs.
"All the baseball players are outstanding fathers," Copponi said. "They are so good to their children. They are so concerned. They come in after the games and pick them up and hug them. They are wonderful, wonderful parents."
Copponi, who was named Ruth after Babe Ruth, has baseball in her blood. She was born into a family that loved playing and watching baseball, and she raised her own family to love the sport, too.
When she celebrates with the Red Sox in the parade Wednesday, her grandson will join her. It will be her fourth time riding on the duck boats.
"Red Sox won the first World Series [since Copponi's employment with the team] in 2004, and that was unbelievable," she said. "Now they have won four, and this was probably the most wonderful year, because the players were outstanding."
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