The situation: 2004 ALCS against the Yankees
The moment: Ortiz’s heroics helps lead the Red Sox to the only 3-0 comeback in baseball history
What else could be number one? The city of Boston has had a lot of historic sports moments over the years, notably the Celtics record seventeen NBA titles and the Belichick-Brady dynasty, but nothing can top what happened in the 2004 ALCS.
The Red Sox ended generations of frustrations at the hands of the Yankees by becoming the first team ever to overcome a 3-0 deficit in a playoff series. In the center of it all was Ortiz, who delivered clutch hit after clutch hit to carry the Red Sox to the miraculous victory.
Ortiz’s first big hit came in Game 4. Facing Paul Quantrill in the twelfth inning with the score tied at four, he drove a ball into the right-field bullpen to force a fifth game. Papi was even more clutch in Game 5. The Red Sox were trailing 4-2 and down to their final six outs, and with Mariano Rivera looming in the bullpen, they needed to get something going.
Papi, of course, would be the one who got the rally started. He blasted a ball over the left-field wall to close the deficit to one. The Red Sox would tie the game later in the inning on a sacrifice fly by Jason Varitek, and the game remained tied when the Hall of Famer stepped to the plate in the fourteenth with two on and two out.
On the tenth pitch of a remarkably tense at-bat, Ortiz lofted a single into center field, scoring Damon and sending the series back to New York.
The Red Sox won Game 6 on Curt Schilling’s famous “bloody sock” performance and went into Game 7 with all the momentum. Who else could get things going but Ortiz, who got the scoring started with a two-run blast in the top of the first inning.
The Red Sox cruised to a 10-3 victory, completing the greatest comeback in baseball history. Ortiz, of course, took home series MVP honors, and the Red Sox swept the Cardinals in the World Series to break their 86-year drought.