This next one isn’t a single player but rather a group. Most of these guys weren’t superstars although they were all very, very good players. However, their importance to Red Sox history is secure and if not for this particular group of players, the Red Sox may still be in search of their first World Series victory since 1918.
The Idiots were a group of players comprising mainly of Johnny Damon, Kevin Millar, Bill Mueller, Trot Nixon, Jason Varitek, Curt Schilling, Manny Ramirez, and pre-legendary David Ortiz. Still smarting from their crushing defeat in Game Seven of the 2003 ALCS to the Yankees, the 2004 Red Sox seemed stuck in neutral until late in the summer when they suddenly caught fire and finished strong to win 98 games and the AL Wild Card.
The rest is not necessary to rehash here, but the Idiots will forever be a part of Red Sox history and perhaps the most important part since they ended the eighty-six year drought and exorcised so many ghosts. Evolving from the Cowboy Up crew of 2003, the Idiots were irreverent and fun. They grew their hair shaggy and didn’t shave. They hooted and hollered and drank shots of whiskey before big games.
They kept things loose and kept the team from buckling under pressure when things got tough (see: Game Four of the 2004 ALCS). They kept the faith and believed in themselves, letting both their teammates and every Red Sox fan know that they’d fight to the very end and thought they could overcome any adversity.
Most importantly, those guys played out of their minds and made history by not only winning the team’s first World Series in forever, but in defeating the Yankees in epic fashion along the way. For that and that alone, this group of players might be the singe most important group of guys to have ever put on Red Sox uniforms.