Today marks the 15th anniversary of the Boston Red Sox sweeping the Cardinals to clinch their first World Series championship in 86 years.
It’s hard to believe it’s been 15 years. On this night, a decade and a half ago, the Boston Red Sox reversed the curse.
October 27, 2004. That’s the night that the Red Sox defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 4 of the World Series to complete the sweep and capture their first championship in 86 years.
Derek Lowe tossed seven shutout innings to earn the victory. The veteran’s last season in Boston was easily his least productive in a Red Sox uniform but he more than made up for it by stepping up in the postseason.
The lasting image of the 2004 season was Edgar Renteria tapping a weak ground ball back to Red Sox closer Keith Foulke who flipped the ball to first base for the final out. Catcher Jason Varitek jumped into the arms of Foulke as a swarm of ecstatic teammates surrounded them on the mound. The iconic call from broadcaster Joe Buck says it all.
"“Red Sox fans have longed to hear it – the Boston Red Sox are World Champions!”"
The series against the Cardinals wasn’t quite as memorable as the ALCS against the New York Yankees. It’s hard to top being the first team in the history of North American sports to overcome an 0-3 deficit to win a postseason series. That it came against their bitter rivals from the Bronx only made it sweeter.
The Cardinals put up less of a fight, making the four-game sweep a bit anti-climactic. That doesn’t make what happened that night any less important. It’s hard to believe now that Boston has won three more World Series titles since then but at the time there were many Red Sox fans who feared they would never see their team win a championship in their lifetime.
As much as that championship season meant to Red Sox fans, it’s an experience that will stick with the players from that team for the rest of their lives. Those bunch of “idiots” formed an unbreakable bond that remains strong to this day.
The anniversary of that magical night isn’t lost on those players as some of them took to social media to recognize the event.
Kevin Youkilis was a part-time player as a rookie that season and didn’t see action in the World Series but he still gets goosebumps when he thinks about that special group of players that he was a part of.
There was so much heartache throughout the 86 year drought preceding that 2004 season. The deflating feeling of watching the baseball roll through the legs of Bill Buckner. The taunting chants of “1918.” The Curse of the Bambino. The sneers from entitled Yankees fans counting their trophies. All of that was washed away in one night.
We’re at the point where 2004 was so long ago that an emerging crop of Red Sox fans are too young to remember that championship season. Some weren’t even born yet. They’ll never know what it’s like to suffer through years of hopeless agony. For the rest of us who witnessed history, we’ll never forget.