My favorite Fall Classic of all time will forever be the 2004 World Series. It saw the Boston Red Sox end an 86-year championship drought.
After the Sox beat the New York Yankees in the ALCS in one of the best comebacks in all of sports history, Boston finally had a chance to "Reverse the Curse." The Sox dubbed themselves as a "bunch of idiots" for their motto as they were advancing in the postseason.
After watching the ALCS, I had no idea how the Sox would perform in the World Series, wondering if they were tired after playing all seven games. I knew the Cardinals had played all seven of the NLCS, too, so to me both teams were similar in that regard.
Here are some of my fond memories and key moments as the Sox swept the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2004 World Series:
Game 1 was great at first as the Sox had a 7-2 lead after three innings. I started to get nervous when pitcher Tim Wakefield walked four batters. Bronson Arroyo came in to try and stop the bleeding. After a few errors by the Sox, the game was tied in the sixth. When Manny Ramirez singled in the seventh, the Sox took the lead and never looked back, beating the Cardinals 11-9. I had hoped that this game was not a taste of things to come. I don't think I could have handled that type of a series.
Game 2 went a lot smoother thanks to Curt Schilling. He only allowed one run on four hits through six innings. Pitchers Alan Embree and Mike Timlin gave solid performances as well, only allowing one run. Meanwhile, Trot Nixon, Johnny Damon, and Orlando Cabrera provided the offense as the Sox took Game 2 6-2.
Game 3 saw the series move to St. Louis. Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez dominated the Cardinals hitters by pitching seven innings with six strikeouts, three hits, and no runs allowed. Manny Ramirez homered in the top of the first inning that set the tone for game. Ramirez, who was the series MVP, also had another RBI in the game to help the Sox win Game 3.
Game 4 seemed to take forever. I wanted this game to go as quickly as possible. I didn't want to see a Game 5. To me, this was it! The Sox could finally win a World Series title since 1918. It started off right as Johnny Damon hit a home run in the top of the first inning. The only other runs that came after that was when Trot Nixon doubled to score Ortiz and Ramirez. Derek Lowe pitched seven scoreless innings, and Bronson Arroyo and Mike Timlin worked together in the eighth for a 1-2-3 inning.
I will always remember closer Keith Foulke running to first base and throwing the ball to first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz for the final out. It was amazing to watch the guys run in the middle of the park and embrace each other and celebrate winning the World Series. Finally, the Red Sox were World Series champs, and I was able to witness it. I was yelling at the TV as if the team could hear my jubilation. I was elated about the sweep. To me, there did not need to be anymore drama like there was in ALCS. I'm not sure Red Sox Nation and I could have handled another series that went the full seven games.
I watched the first three games, to my wife's chagrin, of the World Series in Playa Del Carmen while celebrating my honeymoon. I didn't care that the game was in Spanish. I just wanted to see the Sox play. I watched Game 4 from the comfort of my own home and cherished every moment as a bunch of idiots hoisted up the Commissioner's Trophy.
Please note that stats and player information was provided at MLB.com.
Growing up in New Hampshire, Art Eddy has been a fan of the Red Sox for many years.