The 2004 World Series was the championship series of the 2004 Major League Baseball (MLB) season. It was the 100th World Series and featured the Boston Red Sox against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Red Sox defeated the Cardinals four games to none in the best-of-seven series played between October 23 and October 27 2004 played at Fenway Park and Busch Memorial Stadium.
The Cardinals earned their place in the playoffs by having the best record in the National League and the Red Sox earned theirs by winning the American League wild card. The Cardinals then reached the World Series by defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in the best of five Division Series, and the Houston Astros in the best of seven National League Championship Series. The Red Sox earned their place by beating the Anaheim Angels in the Division Series and the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series. It was the Red Sox's first trip to the World Series since 1986 and their first World Series title since 1918. The Cardinals were making their first trip to the World Series since 1987. Both teams have won the World Series since, the Cardinals in 2006 and the Red Sox in 2007.
A home run by David Ortiz and a five out save by Keith Foulke helped the Red Sox win game 1. They won game 2 thanks to six innings from starter Curt Schilling. The Red Sox won the first two games despite committing four errors in each of them. Seven innings from Pedro Martínez where he did not allow a run helped the Red Sox win game 3. A home run by Johnny Damon in the first inning won game four for the Red Sox to secure series. The Cardinals never led in any of the four games in the series and trailed at some point of every inning in all four games. Manny Ramírez was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the series.
Route to the world series
The Red Sox had lost in the previous season's American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees. The loss was mainly blamed on the decision by then manager Grady Little to keep starting pitcher Pedro Martínez, in the game in the eighth inning of game 7 and Little was fired two weeks later.
During the off-season the Red Sox hired Terry Francona as their new manager. They also signed Keith Foulke as their closer and Curt Schilling as a starting pitcher. The Red Sox played two notable games against the Yankees during the regular season. On July 1 they came back from a three run deficit to force extra innings where, in the 12th, Derek Jeter made a catch on the run before hurling himself headfirst into the stands. The Yankees would win the game in the next inning to complete a sweep and take an eight game lead in the American League East. In the third inning of a game on July 24, Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo hit Alex Rodriguez. As Rodriguez walked towards first base, he was shouting profanities at Arroyo, and then got in Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek face, who then pushed his glove in Rodriguez face causing a Bench-clearing brawl. The Red Sox would eventually win the game thanks to a home run by Bill Mueller in the ninth inning. They would win the wild card to earn a place in the post-season for the second straight season.
In the division round of the playoffs the Red Sox faced the Anaheim Angels in a best of five series. They swept the series largely thanks to a seven run fourth inning in game one and a walk-off home run by David Ortiz in game three after Vladimir Guerrero had tied the game with a grand slam. In the American League Championship Series the Red Sox lost the first three games against the New York Yankees and were trailing when they began the ninth inning in game 4. Kevin Millar was walked by Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, Dave Roberts then pinch ran for him and stole second base before Mueller singled to enable him to tie the game. Another walk-off home run by Ortiz won it for the Red Sox in the 12th inning. Ortiz also won game five with a single in the 14th inning in what was the longest post-season game in baseball history. Despite having a dislocated ankle tendon, Schilling started game six for the Red Sox. He pitched for seven innings allowing just one run during which time his sock became soaked in blood. In the eighth inning, Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez slapped a ball out of Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo's hand, allowing the Yankees to score a run. However, after a discussion the umpires called Rodriguez for interference and canceled the run. Fans then threw debris onto the field in protest and the game was stopped for ten minutes. The Red Sox won the game and became the first baseball team to ever force a game seven having been down three games to none. A ten to three win in game seven sent the Red Sox to the World Series for the first time in 18 years.
Having failed to make the playoffs the season before and their division rivals the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros expected to be strong teams, the Cardinals were generally expected to finish third in the National League Central. However a strong offensive season from Albert Pujols, Scott Rolen and Jim Edmonds where they each hit thirty home runs and 100 runs batted in (RBI) helped them to lead the league in runs scored. They also led the league in runs allowed with four starters recording 15 wins each and closer Jason Isringhausen a league best 47 saves. They added outfielder Larry Walker in August and finished the regular season with the best win-loss record in the league.
The Cardinals took on the Los Angeles Dodgers the divisional round of the playoffs. Five home runs in game one and no runs allowed by the bullpen in game 2, helped them win the first two games. A complete game by Dodgers pitcher Jose Lima helped force a game four where a home run by Pujols won the series for the Cardinals. In the National League Championship Series the Cardinals faced the Houston Astros where they won the first two games in St. Louis. However the Astros tied the series in the next two games in Houston before a combined one hitter by Astro pitchers Brandon Backe and Brad Lidge, gave them the lead in series. The Astros tied game six in the ninth inning and Edmonds won the game for the Cardinals with a home run in the 12th. A Scott Rolen three run in the sixth inning of game seven helped to sent the Cardinals to the World Series for the first time in 17 years.
Both teams had lost their previous World Series appearances. The Red Sox lost in seven games to the New York Mets in 1986, while the Cardinals lost in 1987, also in seven games, to the Minnesota Twins. The Cardinals had not won the World Series since 1982. The two teams had played each other in two previous World Series, in 1946 and 1967; the Cardinals won both in seven games. The Red Sox had not won the World Series since 1918.
The AL had been awarded home-field advantage having won the All-Star Game, giving the Red Sox the advantage at Fenway Park.
Prior to game 1, local band Dropkick Murphys performed Tessie and a moment of silence was give to remember local student Victoria Snelgrove who had been accidentally killed by police two days earlier. Steven Tyler, the lead singer of Aerosmith another local band, performed The Star-Spangled Banner and former Red Sox legend Carl Yastrzemski threw the ceremonial first pitch. Also present at the game were actors Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner.
In the bottom of the first inning, Williams gave up a leadoff double to Johnny Damon, and then hit Orlando Cabrera in the shoulder with a wild pitch. After Manny Ramírez flied out, David Ortiz hit a three-run home run in his first ever world series at bat. Kevin Millar then scored thanks to a single by Bill Mueller to put the Red Sox up four to nothing.
The Cardinals score one run in both the second and third innings on a sacrifice fly by Mike Matheny to score Jim Edmonds and a home run by to right field Larry Walker respectively. However in the bottom of the third, the Red Sox scored three runs thanks to seven consecutive batters reaching base, giving them a five run lead. Dan Haren came in from the Cardinals bullpen to replace Williams during the inning.
In the top of the fourth inning Bronson Arroyo was brought in to replace Wakefield after he had walked four batters. Those walks combined with a throwing error by Millar and a passed ball by Doug Mirabelli allowed the Cardinals to reduce the lead to two runs. In the sixth inning, So Taguchi reached first on an infield hit and was allowed to advance to second when Arroyo threw the ball into the stands. Doubles by Edgar Rentería and Walker tied the game at seven. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Ramírez singled with two men on base and a poor throw by Edmonds allowed Mark Bellhorn to score. Ortiz then hit a line drive that appeared to skip off the lip of the infield and hit Cardinals second baseman Tony Womack with solid force. Womack immediately grabbed his clavicle as a second Red Sox run scored. He was attended to once play had ended and replaced by Marlon Anderson. A precautionary X-ray revealed that there was no damage.
In the top of the eighth inning, with one out and two men on base, Red Sox closer Keith Foulke came in to pitch. Edgar Rentería singled towards Ramírez in left field who, unintentionally, kicked the ball away allowing Jason Marquis to score. Walker hit also hit the ball towards in the next at bat. Ramírez, slid to try and catch the ball but tripped and deflected the ball away for his second error in as many plays, and the forth Red Sox error in the game. Roger Cedeño would score on the play to tie the game at nine.
In the bottom of the eight inning however, Jason Varitek reached on an error and Mark Bellhorn then hit a home run off the right field foul pole, also known as Pesky's Pole, for his third home run in as many games to give the Red Sox a two run lead. In the ninth inning, Foulke struck out Cedeño to win the game for the Red Sox eleven to nine.
With a total of 20 runs, it was the highest scoring opening game of a World Series ever. With four RBIs, Ortiz also tied a franchise record for RBIs in a World Series game.
WP: Curt Schilling (1-0) LP: Matt Morris (0-1)
Boston native James Taylor performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" before game 2 and singer Donna Summer, also a Boston native, performed "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch. The ceremonial first pitch was thrown by three members of the 1946 Red Sox team that faced the Cardinals in the World Series: Bobby Doerr, Dom DiMaggio and Johnny Pesky. Affleck was present again, as was actors Tom Hanks and Jimmy Fallon, who at the time was making Fever Pitch, where he played an obsessed Red Sox fan.
Despite having a torn tendon in his right ankle and blood seeping through his sock, Curt Schilling started game 2 for the Red Sox. Shilling had, had four stitches in the ankle the day before, causing him considerable discomfort. He wasn't sure on the morning of game 2 if he would be able to play but after one of the stitches was removed, he was treated with antibiotics and was able to pitch. Matt Morris started for the Cardinals on three days rest.
In the first inning, Albert Pujols doubled with two out and Scott Rolen hit a line drive towards Mueller who caught it to end the inning. Morris walked Ramírez and Ortiz in the bottom of the inning, Varitek tripled to center field to give the Red Sox a two to nothing lead.
In the fourth inning Pujols doubled again and was able to score on an error by Mueller. The Red Sox also scored in the bottom of the inning when Bellhorn doubled to center with two runners on base to give them a three run lead. Cal Eldred came in to relieve Morris, after a disappointing performance, in the fifth inning. Mueller committed a World Series record tying third error of the game in the sixth inning, however the Cardinals failed to take advantage. In the bottom of the inning, Trot Nixon led off with a single to center, and two more singles by Johnny Damon and Orlando Cabrera, allowed enabled two more runs to score to make it six to one.
Alan Embree replaced Schilling at the start of the seventh inning and he was then replaced by Mike Timlin in the eighth. A sacrifice fly by Scott Rolen in that inning would reduce the Red Sox lead to four. Keith Foulke then came in to strike out Edmonds to end the inning, and also pitch the ninth to end the game. For the second game in a row, the Red Sox won despite committing four fielding errors.
With the win Schilling became only the fifth pitcher to win a World Series game with a team from both leagues, having previously done it with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1993 and the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001. He later donated the bloody sock he wore during the game to the Baseball Hall of Fame museum. Large blame for the Cardinals losses in the first two game was directed at the fact that Rolen, Jim Edmonds and Reggie Sanders, three of the Cardinals best batters, had combined for just three hits in 22 at bats.
Seattle Mariners designated hitter Edgar Martínez was presented with the 2004 Roberto Clemente Award prior to game 3, having announced his retirement one month before. The ceremonial first pitch was thrown by Stan Musial, who had played for the Cardinals for 22 years, and was caught by former Cardinals pitcher Bob Gibson. The Star Spangled Banner and God Bless America were sung by country music singer Martina McBride and singer-songwriter Amy Grant respectively. During the game, a sign for fast food restaurant Taco Bell reading "Free Taco Here!", was hung over the bullpen, with the promise that, if hit, Taco Bell would give everyone in the United States a free "Crunchy Beef Taco".
Once again the Red Sox took the lead in the first inning with a home run by Manny Ramírez off former Red Sox pitcher Jeff Suppan. The starting pitcher for the Red Sox was Pedro Martínez and in the bottom of the first inning he allowed the Cardinals to load the bases with one out. Edmonds then hit fly ball towards Ramirez in left field who caught it on the run and then threw to home plate where catcher Jason Varitek tagged out Larry Walker attempting to score from third, and ending the inning as a result.
In the bottom of the third inning the Cardinals had two runners on base with no one out. Walker hit a ground ball towards first base and Cardinals third base coach José Oquendo signalled to Suppan on third, to run towards home plate. However Suppan suddenly stopped halfway towards home. Edgar Rentería, who had been running from second base towards third, was forced to return to second when he saw Suppan had stopped. Ortiz, at first base, began moving toward Suppan who turned back toward third where he was tagged out by the third baseman Mueller.
Trot Nixon extended the Red Sox lead to two in the top of the forth, hitting a single to right field that scored Mueller, who had started the rally with a two-out double to left center. Johnny Damon then led off the Red Sox's fifth inning with a double to right and singles by Orlando Cabrera and Ramírez singled to right and left respectively, scored Damon to make it three to nothing. With two out, Mueller then singled sharply alone the first base line, enableling Cabrera to score the Red Sox's fourth run. Suppan was then replaced by Al Reyes, which meant none of Cardinals three starting pitcher had finished five innings during the series.
Martinez was pinch hit for in the top of the eighth inning by Mike Timlin. He finished with six strikeouts, three hits allowed and retired the last 14 batters he faced. The Cardinals avoided the shut out when Walker hit a home run to center field off Foulke in the ninth inning, but Foulke retired the other three batters he faced in the inning to win the game for the Red Sox four to one.
Gretchen Wilson, a country singer (and avid Cardinals fan), performed "The Star-Spangled Banner", which was followed by a fly-over by a squadron of 2 F/A-18 fighter planes from Fighter Squadron Composite 12, which is based at Naval Air Station Oceana.
In attendance at the game was Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron, who, at the time, held the record for most home runs in a career (755). Aaron was a perennial All-Star, and the National League's MVP in 1957. In his career, he was selected a record 24 times to appear in the All-Star Game. He also won three Gold Glove Awards as an outfielder (1958–60).
Skies were partly cloudy, and the game time temperature was 61 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius). Perhaps foreshadowing the game's outcome, a total lunar eclipse was visible from the stadium starting around 8:14 p.m. local time, the first time a lunar eclipse has occurred during a post-season game. The first pitch, from the Cardinals' starting pitcher, Jason Marquis, came at 7:26 p.m. local time.
Johnny Damon, the game's first batter, got the scoring under way for the Red Sox with a home run into the bullpen in right field. It was the first World Series game-opening homer since Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees in the 2000 World Series against the New York Mets.
Against the Cardinals' starting pitcher, Jason Marquis, Manny Ramírez singled with one out in the 3rd inning to equal the postseason hitting streak record of 17 games (tied with Hank Bauer and Derek Jeter). David Ortiz followed with a double down the right-field line. Jason Varitek hit a ground ball to first which Albert Pujols fielded, firing home to Yadier Molina, who tagged Ramirez for the inning's second out. But Marquis then walked Bill Mueller and gave up a double to Trot Nixon off the wall in right-center field, scoring Ortiz and Varitek, and missing a grand slam by a mere 2 feet. Nixon actually got his signs messed up, thinking he had a green light to swing on a 3 ball, no strike count, a rarity in baseball since it forces the opposing pitcher to throw a strike.
Scott Stapp, a Grammy Award-winning vocalist formerly with the group Creed, performed "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch.
In the top of the eighth, Mueller led off with a single to right-center off reliever Danny Haren, and Nixon followed with his third double of the night, down the right-field line. Gabe Kapler pinch-ran for Nixon, and Cardinals manager Tony La Russa countered by calling on Jason Isringhausen to try to shut the door. It was Isringhausen's first appearance of the series, as the Cards generally use him as their closer. Isringhausen promptly walked Mark Bellhorn, loading the bases, but he got out of the inning with two strikeouts and another outstanding fielding play by Pujols. With the infield in, he snagged a Damon grounder and threw home, forcing out Mueller.
Lowe's night on the mound ended when he was pinch-hit for in the eighth inning. He finished with four strikeouts, one walk, and three hits allowed in his seven shutout innings, making three consecutive no-earned-run games for Boston starting pitchers (20 innings total). He became the winning pitcher in the deciding game of all three postseason series.
Bronson Arroyo came on to pitch the bottom of the eighth, and he walked Reggie Sanders with one out before yielding to reliever Alan Embree, who struck out pinch-hitter Hector Luna and got Larry Walker to pop up, ending the inning.
Keith Foulke, the Red Sox closer, came in to pitch the bottom of the ninth. Pujols started the inning by lacing a single through Foulke's legs. Scott Rolen flied to Kapler in right for the first out. Foulke then struck out Jim Edmonds and got Edgar Rentería to bounce back to the mound, ending the game and the Series with a 4-0 Red Sox victory. In a somewhat fitting coincidence, their World Series victory came 18 years to the day (October 27) after their loss to the New York Mets in the 1986 World Series, and on the night of a lunar eclipse. As well, Edgar Rentería, who would make the last out, wore number 3 for the Cardinals, the same number made famous (or infamous) by Babe Ruth when he played for the Yankees. This combination of coincidences convinced many that the "Curse of the Bambino" had finally been vanquished. Also, outfielders Johnny Damon (whose player number was 18 at that time) and Gabe Kapler (whose number was 19) ran to jump into each other's arms, and then ran next to each other to jump into the victory pile, in which some fans claim was "1918" fading away. Manny Ramírez was named MVP.
This would be the second time in a row that the home team (in this case St. Louis) did not win the deciding game of a World Series. Notably, and displaying admirable class and a keen sense of history, the Busch Stadium staff re-opened the building's main gates to allow several hundred Red Sox fans who had been milling outside without tickets into the stadium to see the Red Sox' final victory.
The game lasted 3 hours 14 minutes before 52,037 fans at Busch Stadium.(Play-by-play from ESPN.com)
|1||St. Louis Cardinals – 9, Boston Red Sox – 11||October 23||Fenway Park||35,035|
|2||St. Louis Cardinals – 2, Boston Red Sox – 6||October 24||Fenway Park||35,001|
|3||Boston Red Sox – 4, St. Louis Cardinals – 1||October 26||Busch Stadium II||52,015|
|4||Boston Red Sox – 3, St. Louis Cardinals – 0||October 27||Busch Stadium II||52,037|
|Boston Red Sox||8||0||5||3||2||2||2||2||0||24||39||8|
|St. Louis Cardinals||0||1||1||4||0||2||0||3||1||12||24||1|
|Total Attendance: 174,088 Average Attendance: 43,522|
|Winning Player’s Share: – $223,620 Losing Player’s Share – $163,379|
After the end of Game 4, fans in Boston were understandably ecstatic. There was less rioting and damage downtown than there had been after the League Championship Series the preceding week, but there were perhaps twice as many people in the streets. This caused some problems when an ambulance tried to drive through the crowd to get to an injured woman. Although the crowd did get out of the way as the ambulance moved, they then reformed and even followed the ambulance. Most of the crowd was mostly peaceful and calm, some forming mosh pits and others dancing. Some did try to scale lampposts and ledges and most succeeding in doing so with no police intervention.
Many roads were closed off, including Yawkey Way, and a police perimeter was formed around Fenway Park to keep fans from trespassing into the field and stadium. Another two police lines were formed by police in full riot gear, along Commonwealth Ave., and Beacon Street, preventing anyone from leaving Kenmore Square. Most bars shut down during the hour after the end of the game. Small caches of fireworks were set off around the city, and many news programs showed several hours of footage of the streets in Boston and Cambridge interspersed with footage and interviews from inside Busch Stadium, beginning about 10 seconds after the final out was recorded.
Around midnight, the police line along the entrance to Kenmore Square began to move in on the celebrators, pushing them down Commonwealth Avenue towards Boston University.
In some places such as Lynn, screams and cheers of joy were heard, fireworks were set off and people were banging pots and pans. There were 35 arrests, mostly for minor offenses (e.g. drunk and disorderly conduct), 22 injuries resulting in hospitalization (one of which was a police officer hit in the face with a beer bottle), and some minor property damage (2 reported property vandalizations, several damaged trees).
Compared to the riots following the ALCS Game 7 victory one week prior, which caused damage to a McDonald's and a Sovereign Bank in Kenmore Square as well as the death of Victoria Snelgrove, a 21 year old college student, the reported property damage was minor. The next morning, most of the Boston radio stations' morning shows were also celebrating and rush hour traffic was very light on the usually congested Route 128 and Interstate 93. There were also reports of fans visiting the graves of family members across New England and laying Red Sox memorabilia and copies of the Boston Globe at their headstones.
Series statistical trivia
- The Red Sox' eight consecutive wins constitute the longest post season winning streak since the Cincinnati Reds accomplished it in 1975-1976. The White Sox matched the feat the following season. *Although the New York Yankees accomplished this feat in 1998-1999, winning 12 in a row, they did so in separate postseasons (from 1998 ALCS Game 4 through 1999 ALCS Game 2.)
- For the third year in a row, a Wild Card team won the World Series, the longest such streak.
- Boston pitcher Derek Lowe became the first pitcher in history to be the winning pitcher in the series-clinching game in three postseason series and the first to win both the LCS and WS clinchers since Randy Johnson in 2001 for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
- By winning his start in Game 2, Curt Schilling became the first pitcher to win World Series games with three different teams. He won Game 5 with Philadelphia in 1993 and Game 1 with Arizona in 2001.
- Renteria is the second player in MLB history to end a World Series both by making a hit and by making an out. He won the 1997 World Series with the Florida Marlins with a single. Goose Goslin was the other player.
- For the first time since the 1928 World Series, the St. Louis Cardinals got swept in a postseason series.
- This was the first World Series since 1999 that featured no expansion teams (and only the second since 1997), the longest such streak in MLB history. It was the first meeting of unmoved "original" teams from 1901 since the Red Sox and Reds faced off in 1975.
References in popular culture
- In an Olympia Sports Commercial filmed in 2004, Manny Ramírez was shown daydreaming about being the World Series MVP. A few months later, the Red Sox break the 86-year curse and win the World Series, with Manny Ramírez announced the World Series MVP.
- In an episode of Lost, footage of the final out of Game 4 was used to convince plane crash survivor Jack that the island inhabitants known as The Others know of events in the outside world. This was also a throwback to Season 1 of the show, in which Jack's father, Christian, claimed the Red Sox would never win the Series, a sentiment echoed by Jack as they believed they were cursed.
- In an episode of Boston Legal aired in early 2005, William Shatner's character Denny Crane says, "Life is so different now that the Sox have won." The victory has also been referred to in subsequent episodes by Crane, Alan Shore and Shirley Schmidt.
- The 2005 movie Fever Pitch (or Perfect Match) starring Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon is set around the entire 2004 Red Sox season. Originally the script had called for the Red Sox to once again end in a loss short playoff success and most notably at the hands of the Yankees. Down 3-0 in the ALCS this seemed certain but the team won that series against astronomical odds which sent the production staff scrambling to secure World Series tickets and filming rights for games 4 through 7. What was supposed to be another heart-breaking season for the Red Sox, which was popular at the time given recent collapses and the popularization of the Curse of the Bambino, turned into a great victory and caused a near full re-write of the ending of the movie. The ending scene with both the lead actor and actress was filmed on the field at the same time the actual event occurred. Camera shots of the team celebrating in jubilation was mixed with Hollywood acting. Fox Sports went under criticism for showing the scene being filmed during the Red Sox' on-field celebration of Game 4. The movie was produced by 20th Century Fox (a sister company to the Fox network).
- In the 2006 movie The Departed, a full page of the Boston Globe, designed by Grant Staublin, can be briefly seen on the wall of Sargent Colin Sullivan's (Matt Damon) office. The page features a large picture of Keith Foulke celebrating the final out of the series.
Down the right field line, into the corner it is...fair! And a three-run home run, Ortiz has done it again!—Joe Buck, Fox Sports, calling the 5th home run of the postseason by David Ortiz.
Back to Foulke, Red Sox fans have longed to hear it…the Boston Red Sox are World Champions!—Joe Buck, Fox Sports, calling the final out of game 4.
Foulke to the set, the 1-0 pitch, here it is...swing and a ground ball, stabbed by Foulke. He has it. He underhands to first. And the Boston Red Sox are the World Champions. For the first time in 86 years, the Red Sox have won baseball's World Championship. Can you believe it?—Joe Castiglione, 850 AM WEEI
I don't believe in curses, I believe you make your own destination.—Series MVP Manny Ramírez when asked if he believed in curses.
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