Reliving Memories of the 2003 ALCS


It has been over 6 years since game 7 of the 2003 ALCS. Even though the Red Sox have since broken out of their ‘curse’ with 2 championship victories, it is painful to relive the 11th inning heroics from Aaron Boone. Since that moment Boone’s career has been mostly forgettable, but as he retires, Red Sox fans will remember him for one clutch at-bat.

One of my most vivid memories from game 7 of the 2003 ALCS is the gut-wrenching feeling that the Red Sox would somehow find a way to lose, even though they held a lead late. I am an eternal optimist, but knew the cards were certainly stacked against the Sox being on the road, against their rivals and in a deciding game. The most talked about moment on October 16, 2003, as we all know, didn’t come in extra innings, but rather in the 8th inning.

With 2 relievers ready in the ‘pen (Williamson and Timlin), Grady Little made the most talked about mistake of the past decade when he left Pedro in after taking a trip to the mound, even though Pedro’s pitch count was growing rapidly. My goal is not to relive the moment for everyone, no one needs that stress, but it is important to reflect on Boone’s greatest accomplishment as he says goodbye to the game. With one swing in 2003, he added weight to the already back-breaking 85 year curse.

Fast forward to the 2004 ALCS. Arguably, the best chapter in the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry (certainly for a Sox fans). The Red Sox finally overcame their demons and pushed the 2003 ALCS out of their minds. After that mammoth comeback, the World Series was almost an after-thought and was never in question from the first pitch to the last. What always amazes me, is the difference in attitude of the players and fans since Keith Foulke flipped the ball to Doug Mientkiewicz for the final out of the 2004 World Series.

Since that point, there is no deficit that is insurmountable for the Red Sox. Although they don’t always succeed, there is a belief they have the ability to win. Some call it confidence, others call it cockiness, but regardless, the Red Sox swagger has become commonplace in Boston since 2004 as the public beating of Grady Little and the disdain for Aaron Boone as subsided (for the most part).

It goes to show you that winning does in fact make things right again. The Boston media will always be critical of their hometown team, but as long as the players on the field win, everyone is happy. As all of the position players get their physicals and begin to wind-up for the 2010 season, the Sox swagger remains. At this moment, nothing is more true than what Kevin Garnett yelled after winning the Celtic’s 17th championship in 2008, “Anything is possibllllllllleeeeeee.”