Boston Red Sox: Looking Back at 2004 on 11 Year Anniversary


Today marks the 11th anniversary that the Boston Red Sox broke the ‘Curse of the Bambino’ and clinched their first World Series Championship in 86 years. Since then, the Red Sox have won 2 more World Series Championships, and while both are special (okay maybe 2007 was forgettable) nothing will compare to the 2004 team.

For obvious reasons too, generations of Red Sox fans had seen the team fail to win a championship even if the team had some of the best players in the league. Ted Williams, Carlton Fisk, Carl Yastrzemski, Roger Clemens. The list goes on and on but the story remains the same.

Of course before the team of “Idiots” could capture the World Series they had to go through the New York Yankees. Everyone knows the story, down 3 games to 0 facing elimination before David Ortiz hits a walk-off home run to salvage Game 4 and avoid a sweep.

At the time it was hard to picture the Red Sox coming back and winning the ALCS even if David Ortiz had hit one of the more memorable home runs in postseason history. Especially with a banged up Curt Schilling that had to take the mound for Game 6, and a lot of uncertainty if he would even start that game.

Looking back at it now this will be one of the plays you see every postseason because it literally changed the course of a storied franchise and marked the beginning of one of the greatest clutch hitters of all-time.   Then you have Game 5 where Ortiz captures another walk off win for the Red Sox, this time a little blooper in to center field as Johnny Damon comes running home like a gazelle being chased by a lion.

Sidenote: I know a lot of people give Joe Buck slack because of his monotone voice and way he calls games, but I have to tip my hat to him on both walk off calls.

This lead up to a game that everyone in Red Sox Nation was worried about, Game 6 in Yankee Stadium with a battered Curt Schilling taking the bump. For those who don’t remember, Schilling hurt his ankle during his start in the ALDS against the Anaheim Angels. He took the mound for Game 1 and got shelled, giving up 6 runs in less than 3 innings of work, even though he had suffered a torn tendon sheath he was slated for a Game 6 start.

More from Boston Red Sox

For as much emphasis that David Ortiz gets for helping beat the Yankees, the doctor that repaired Curt Schilling’s ankle so he could pitch in Game 6 deserves a credit as well. Think about it without Dr. William Morgan, who performed the procedure hours before Game 6, then who knows what happens in Game 6 or if the Red Sox are even able to complete the comeback.

Game 7 of the ALCS was just total domination by the Sox, nothing more nothing less. The Yankees knew at that point that they were defeated and the Red Sox had so much momentum, it was impossible for them to drop this final game.

This lead to one of the most important and honestly one of more forgettable World Series in recent memory. Don’t get me wrong, for Red Sox fans it was a lifetime in the making watching the team sweep the St. Louis Cardinals (who had the best record in baseball in 2004 mind you).

But in terms of suspense and edge of your seat moments, there was none of that. The Red Sox dominated this series from the first pitch of Game 1 until the final out in Game 4.

Out of the few memorable moments my favorite one had to be watching Mark Bellhorn, an absolute bum for the Red Sox all season long in my opinion, hit a moon shot that rattled Pesky’s Poll in Game 1 to give the Red Sox a late lead.

I never understood why Theo Epstein kept him on the roster throughout the season, I always favored Pokey Reese on the field and take my chances at the plate with him. But Theo and Bellhorn proved me wrong, wasn’t the first time that they did either.

And then of course the moment that every Red Sox fan will always remember, the final out recorded by Keith Foulke against Edgar Renteria. I was a kid at the time living in Connecticut so I was at home watching the final inning with Momma Smith, but going on YouTube a decade later and looking at some of the bar celebrations in and around Boston was pretty cool, even 11 years later.

11 years ago today a group of Idiots were able to do the unthinkable and come back from 3-0 in the ALCS to beat their bitter rivals. And after that they were able to do something  that some of the best hitters in history, some of the best pitchers in history couldn’t do. Win a World Series with the Boston Red Sox.

If anybody from the 2004 World Series team walked into a bar in Boston, they still wouldn’t have to buy a drink. And they won’t for the rest of their lives.


Next: Who Can the Red Sox Trade?

More from Chowder and Champions