Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

…but I've come through!

We believed...and look what happened.

We believed (eventually!) and look what happened.

Five years ago today, the Red Sox made me weep with joy.  For me, for my parents, for all my fellow fans and for the team I  love.

I’m not usually one to write about what everyone else is writing about but today is special.

Five years ago – October 20, 2004 – the Red Sox won game 7 of the ALCS and changed the lives of Red Sox fans forever.  Wikipedia gives us the goods:

Pedro Martínez relieved Lowe in the seventh inning, receiving loud chants of “Who’s Your Daddy?,” which intensified as he gave up a sequence of hits, allowing two runs. He eventually raised the velocity of his fastball to the mid-90s and shut down the rally. Mike Timlin and Alan Embree finished out the game. At 12:01 a.m., on October 21st, Rubén Sierra hit a groundball to second baseman Pokey Reese, who threw to first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz to finish the unprecedented comeback. The Red Sox won 10-3 and became the first team in Major League Baseball history to win a seven-game series after losing the first three games. David Ortiz was named the series MVP.

After Pedro gave up those two runs, I spent the rest of the inning outside my house, pacing the street and talking to my sister on the phone. She purposely dragged out each pitch to torture me just a little before she assured me that Pedro was out of the inning. It was game 7…it was the Red Sox…I was convinced something was going to go wrong.

But it didn’t.  When the game was over, my sister called me on my land line and my cousin in New York called me on my cell phone.  Both excited, both emotional and both giving me play by play of what was going on post-game (my cousin was watching YES and telling me they kept showing me the sad Yankees dugout.  My sister was watching Fox and screaming “Show the Yankees!!  I want to see them cry!!!”  It had been a long series and given what happened in 2003 an even longer season).   I spent the rest of that night watching NESN and ESPN over and over again and most of that time was spent crying.  I literally didn’t go to sleep and then, somehow, got myself to work the next day where all we did was talk about the game.  I was on such a high from that win that I barely remember game 1 of the World Series.

What stands out most in my memory is Derek Lowe being interviewed on the field and telling the interviewer that the best part of the celebration was seeing Tim Wakefield stand on the pitcher’s mound at Yankee Stadium, holding a beer and celebrating.  After what happened in 2003, Lowe, and everyone, wanted Wake to be able to enjoy that moment.

I won’t lie.  Remembering this…typing it out…is bringing tears to my eyes.

It’s something so few other fan bases can understand.  Everyone is happy when their team wins but not every fan had to deal with the garbage that Sox fans did.  Which is why no matter how many Yankees trolls want to come here and rub it in that the Yanks are in the LCS and the Sox aren’t – it won’t ever matter.  NOTHING will ever change the fact that the Yankees had their foot on the throat of the Red Sox and the Red Sox still came back and beat them – in their own house.  NOTHING will ever change what Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Pedro Martinez, yes, Manny Ramirez, hell even Johnny Damon did over the course of those final four games.    The Yankees can win 26 more titles and none will ever make their fans feel the way we felt in 2004.  Again, our lives were changed forever.  Jason Varitek said that Red Sox fans could hold their heads up when they ventured into Yankee Stadium – damn straight, Tek!

I treasure that feeling to this day, that October, that moment in time when we went from feeling like the universe was out to destroy us to believing that someone up there finally wanted us to feel the joy so many other fans felt – except we got to feel it tenfold.  Seeing the Sox win in 2004 and then again in 2007 made some Sox fans greedy – not me – it just made me appreciate the team and this game a lot  more.  After 2007, everything else is gravy.  And it all started with finally beating the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS five years ago today.

Again, from Wikipedia, a fitting way to remember the day:

This would be the fifth pennant for the Red Sox, since that 1918 season.   Here it is. (Pokey) Reese. The Boston Red Sox have won the Pennant!
—Joe Buck calling the final out of Game 7.

Pokey Reese has it. He throws to first and the Red Sox have won the American League pennant!
—Joe Castiglione’s calling the same moment as Buck above.

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October 20, 2009 - Posted by | 2009 | ,

9 Comments »

  1. Thanks for your memories. To be so nervous in a 10-3 game should convey the emotion that almost every Sox fan had that game. To treasure the feeling of what victory meant is something we’ll never let go.

    Comment by Sharpie T. Silverwater | October 20, 2009 | Reply

  2. We had just moved into a new house in Washington D.C. I was working my butt off, putting in hard wood floors throughout the main level. My wife watched the last couple of innings with me on the couch, and after it was over, I danced a jig, right there in front of her. One of the best dances of my life.

    Comment by Tom Disy | October 20, 2009 | Reply

  3. only too happy to relive it over and over. Sunday afternoon as I lay on the couch with a yucky tummy bug…I tuned into MLB network to keep my mind off it and watched Game 5 of the 04 ALCS. It of course lasted for hours….can’t say that I didn’t enjoy it just as much as I did the first time. I may just have to watch game 7 tonight or at least the last 20 minutes of it anyway!

    Trucks roll yet?

    Comment by Dori | October 20, 2009 | Reply

  4. As soon as I saw the “October 20” on my page-a-day calendar at work, I jumped up and ran around to everyone saying, “Do you remember what happened 5 years ago today?” Then for the rest of the morning, I was muttering things like “greatest comeback in history” and “D-Lowe, on 2 days rest” and “celebrating on their field”…

    I’m totally going to have to pop in the DVD!

    Comment by Kristen | October 20, 2009 | Reply

  5. We’ll never, ever get to feel that way again, and most sports fans will never get to feel that way. Ahhhh, to have that memory.

    Comment by ryssee | October 20, 2009 | Reply

  6. Five years ago, my older son, and Red Sox buddy, started college in Boston. He could see the scoreboard at Fenway from his dorm room. When they beat the Yankees’ I was joyous, heartsick that my son wasn’t with me, overwhelmed that I was the first person he called when they won, and worried sick about my 19 year old freshman celebrating in Kenmore. It still makes me cry to think about all the emotions.

    Comment by Dewey | October 20, 2009 | Reply

  7. :puffs out chest in pride: My name is Donna and I am a Red Sox Fan!!!

    thanks Cyn for bringing back all those great awesome memories!!!

    Comment by Tex19 | October 21, 2009 | Reply

  8. I never doubted for a second. I just knew they would pull it off.
    It will always be one of the most exciting Red Sox moments of my life!

    Comment by md | October 22, 2009 | Reply

  9. Thanks for giving a good idea. It will always be one of the most exciting Red Sox moments of my life!

    Comment by baby | October 22, 2009 | Reply


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