LACONIA — Sporting umbrellas while proudly wearing baseball hats and jackets, Red Sox fans from all over the Lakes Region waited in line in a solid rain Friday afternoon at the Weirs Beach Lobster Pound restaurant to take pictures of their family and friends with the 2004, 2007 and 2013 World Series trophies.
The line kept growing throughout the afternoon, testament to the love affair the fans have with their team, fair weather or foul, and what it has meant to them over the years. After 86 years with no title to show, the Red Sox have now won three in less than 10 years, more than any other team so far in the 21st century.
''My father Walter Milliken was a diehard Red Sox fan. But he died just before they won the 2004 World Series. I wished he could have lived to have seen that trophy,'' said Donna Brown of Meredith, who said that she and her husband, Ernie, attended a Red Sox game for the first time ever last summer on the day that the Carl Yazstremski statue was dedicated.
''It's a dream come true,'' said Patty Lance of Meredith, who was waiting in line with her grand-son Colby Hurd, 9, so that she could take his picture with the trophies.
Colby is a soccer player but his older brother, Nick, who is 18, pitches for Inter-Lakes High School and couldn't make it to the trophy show because he was at baseball practice.
One of the first through the line was Nathan Hardy, 14, of Belmont, who said that he wished that there were a lot of miniature World Series trophies at the event so that people could get one to take home.
He recently received a copy of Sports Illustrated autographed by Red Sox outfielder Johnny Gomes, he of the gnome-like beard, who was featured on the cover.
''We met him at a baseball card show at the Raddison in Manchester and my son sent him an autographed picture of himself. Nathan's a Special Olympics Gold Medalist with 25 trophies,. It was really nice of Johnny to send him the magazine,'' said his dad, Darrin, who said his son has won medals in skiing, basketball, bowling and track and field and plays T-ball.
''He loves baseball and watches it all the time. We're going down to Boston on opening weekend to see the Red Sox,'' said Hardy.
Mark Roman of Laconia has been a Sox fan for 37 years and says his brothers are also great fans.
''I couldn't miss a chance to see these trophies. We had a lot of years of disappointment until 2004.''
Kevin Fisk, who ran Kevin's Cafe in Moultonborough until recently and is looking for a new waterfront location for his restaurant, says he'll be going to Boston to watch the Red Sox on April 8, says he used to be a regular at the New Hampshire Baseball Dinner at the N.H. Armory , where he often saw Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk.
Mitch Hamel, a local realtor and member of the Laconia Parks and Recreation Commission, said ''it's nice to be able to have these three championship seasons,'' and said that one of his best memories of recent seasons was having Red Sox owner John Henry pour champagne into his soda cup when the Red Sox celebrated winning a division series at Fenway Park.
Bob Galeckas of Gilford, a former Bay Stater, says that he's old enough to remember when he thought he'd never see the Red Sox win a World Series. ''After 1986 and that loss to the Mets I though we'd never win. I remember those losses in 1975 and 1967 before that. It's just great to have these trophies come here.'' said Galeckas.
He's very high on the Red Sox' chances of repeating as champions, something they haven't done since 1915-16. ''I like Pedroia and Ortiz, when he isn't crying, and John Lester. Daniel Nava is a great story and I love to see the young kids like Boegarts and Middlebrooks,'' says Galeckas.
The trophy tour is co-hosted by WZEI 101.5 FM.