The Night it All Began for the Red Sox: Sweeping the Cards in '04 to Break Curse
Once upon a time, there was a baseball team in Boston that went more than eight decades without winning a World Series.
High school kids in New England have no idea that this ever happened, but those who are old enough to remember any segment of that misery can laugh about it now because this a new day for this once-cursed franchise in the wake of the Red Sox fourth world championship in 15 years which was secured Sunday night at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
The Red Sox lost a heartbreaker in Game 3, an 18-inning marathon, which cut their lead in the Series to two games to one, but then rallied from a 4-0 deficit in Game 4 on Saturday with nine runs over the final three innings. Although there was still one more victory to achieve, the Series was over at that point, and that came into clear focus Sunday when the Dodgers - with their ace, Clayton Kershaw, on the mound - barely even put up a fight in losing the clincher 5-1.
And so, Boston celebrates again. This is the 11th championship in the four major sports that the city has reveled in since the Patriots first Super Bowl triumph following the 2001 NFL season.
However, as momentous as that night was for Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, it does not match what happened on Oct. 27, 2004, when 86 years of Red Sox irrelevance ended as they completed a four-game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals. This having happened less than a week after they became the first baseball team in history to overcome a three games to none postseason deficit to defeat the hated Yankees in the American League Championship Series.
As great as the 2018 edition was, with its 119 total victories, second only to the 1998 Yankees, that 2004 Red Sox team, which called itself The Idiots, will forever maintain its place at the very top of the now crowded championship mountain in Boston because that was the team that changed everything.
It was the team that achieved what Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski and Jim Rice and Roger Clemens and all the rest could not.
Here's a recounting of the night the Red Sox beat the Cardinals 3-0 to win the World Series.