This archived article was written by: Sterling Mumford
Christmas came a little early this year for the town of Boston. Snow may not have been falling but there was plenty to get excited about. After 86 years of torture and agony, the Boston Red Sox won their first World Series since 1918.
The road was not easy for these pesky Red Sox. It all started about 11 months ago when they signed two key players. Curt Schilling and Keith Foulke were signed by Boston in November of last year. Curt Schilling, who declined his no-trade clause, left the Arizona Diamondbacks to come help bring a title to the city of Boston. Foulke, who played with Oakland last year, signed a three-year deal with Boston to give them a closer, which they desperately were in need of.
In the month of April they started as the hottest team in all of baseball. The season had its up and downs, but the Red Sox struggled through the rough times and ended the season with a great stretch of games. No player of significance was injured and things looked up for the Red Sox. Everyone thought it was their year.
The Red Sox came roarin’ into the playoffs. Sweeping the Anaheim Angels in three games and then completed the greatest comeback in baseball history. Winning four straight games against their arch rivals the Yankees, after they had taken a 3-0 lead in the series. It was a comeback for the ages.
The Red Sox then took on the St. Louis Cardinals for the rights to a World Series title. World series games were played in Fenway Park for the first time in 16 years. Game one of the series proves how much anything can happen in the playoffs. David Ortiz started where he left off in the ALCS with a three run homer in the first inning. Both teams battled back and forth.
The Red Sox defense had been almost flawless in the postseason until this game. They had four errors in the game. Two of the errors coming because Manny Ramirez bobbled two catches in a row. Foulke came into the game in the bottom of the eighth with the bases loaded and the game at a 9-9 tie. Foulke struck out Jim Edmonds to end the Cardinal threat. Mark Bellhorn homered in the bottom of the eighth to give Boston an 11-9 lead, which they turned into a victory. This game was only the fifth time in history of the World Series that a team has scored more then nine runs and lost a game.
Game two had Boston’s ace Schilling on the mound. Schilling, who injured his ankle at the end of September and then re-injured it during the Anaheim series, pitched a gem. Schilling, who had a procedure done to his ankle to keep him able to pitch, became the first pitcher to win a World Series game for three separate teams. Schilling didn’t even know if he was going to be able to pitch hours before the game because his ankle hurt so bad, but on the way to the stadium he saw signs encouraging him to go on. Schilling’s performances in the postseason will put him in baseball lore forever.
Heading back to St. Louis, the Red Sox had a two games to none advantage and looked like they were not going to let up. Pedro Martinez had his dream realized when he was able to pitch in a World Series game. Martinez made the most of his dreams. Pedro got off to a rocky start but with Pedro got off to a rocky start but with the help of some horrendously bad base running by St. Louis, was able to get through it. He retired his last 14 batters and didn’t allow a run. The Red Sox took a commanding three games to none lead with a 4-1 victory.
With only one team in major league history to overcome a three games to none deficit, the Red Sox were looking to make history. They were not going to let happen what the Yankees let them do earlier this year. Johnny Damon hit a home run on the fourth pitch of the game and the Red Sox never looked back. Derek Lowe pitched a great game, just as Pedro and Schilling had earlier in games two and three. He didn’t allow a run and became the only pitcher to win the deciding game in the Division Series, League Championship Series and the World Series in a single postseason.
The Red Sox were never behind in any inning in the postseason. The Red Sox played like a team for the ages. No one player in particular sticking out to be the hero. It was a group effort. Everyone did their part just as they should. Ramirez did win the MVP for the series.
Boston dispatched the Cardinals quickly and efficiently. The 2004 Red Sox have done something that people in Boston have waited for their entire lives. Boston will be able to sleep peacefully now. The Red Sox have won the 2004 World Series.