Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Fourteen Years Ago Tonight, A New Era In Boston Red Sox Baseball Was Born

(Getty Images)
Millions will tell you they were there at Fenway Park on October 17, 2004—in fact, only 34,826 actually were. Two of your humble FenwayNation operatives—Ernie Paicopolos and Henry Kanterwere, in fact, there, in their Section 25 grandstand seats. For five hours and two minutes we sat on the edge of our cramped, splintered, wooden 1912-era seats and watched a new era of Red Sox baseball being born. Before the game we had wished only for this one win against The Evil Ones—so as not to be completely humiliated again. Down three-games-to-none in the ALCS, Boston needed a victory to keep the 86-year dream of another World Championship alive. Then, it happened. Down 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth, and facing All-World closer Mariano Rivera, Kevin Millar drew a walk. Pinch-runner Dave Roberts stole second. And Bill Mueller drove in the tying run with a blistering single to center-field. Much later, David Ortiz cemented his reputation as the clutchest hitter in Red Sox history by launching a game-winning, 12th-inning two-run home run to right field off former Red Sox pitcher Paul Quantrill (of course). Three more ALCS wins followed—and four more in the anti-climactic World Series. Fourteen years ago tonight, it all began.