2004: Boston Red Sox defeat St. Louis Cardinals (4-0)
Here we are folks, the main event! We all knew this was going to take the top spot without a doubt. Though those other wins have all been amazing, this is the crowning moment. The first Red Sox World Series win in 86 years. Generations have come and gone having never seen their beloved Red Sox raise the Commissioner’s Trophy.
This is a moment that will forever be burned into my memory. The grounder back to Keith Foulke and the flip to Doug Mientkiewicz for the final out. You could feel the decades of pain and sadness finally being exorcized from Red Sox fans the world over. 86 years of “maybe next year,” would finally be paid off.
Much like AC and Farrell, first-year Red Sox manager Terry Francona would deliver a World Series title to Boston. Tito and his gang of “idiots” would finally defeat the Curse of the Bambino. The first step to that achievement was making the greatest comeback in sports history by defeating the Yankees 4-3 after being down 3-0. On the Backs of Manny, Papi, Kevin Millar, Johnny Damon and the arms of Schilling, Pedro Martinez and Derek Lowe.
This was a team built on passion and the analytics made famous by Bille Beane in Oakland. It wasn’t about getting the best players but the best players for specific scenarios. Knowing the matchups and knowing which players would best suit them in order to be successful.
I remember watchign this series with my entire family around. When that final out was made I glanced over at my father and could see the expression on his face. Pure happiness. Unadulterated, unfiltered pure and true happiness. Many younger fans have only been alive for the recent string of success, so they don’t know just how important and magical 2004 was. This will truly be one of the best nights of my life without a doubt.