The 2004 World Series represented the 100th time two modern Major League Baseball teams met to decide the championship. The best-of-seven series began on October 23. After winning four consecutive games, on October 27 at 10:37 pm CT, the American League champion Boston Red Sox defeated the National League champion St. Louis Cardinals to claim the 2004 World Series Trophy. It had been 86 years since Boston last claimed the prize by defeating the Chicago Cubs in the 1918 World Series. With their Series sweep, Boston had finally broken the "Curse of the Bambino". To make the championship sweeter, it came on the heels of the largest comeback in postseason MLB history (a 0-3 deficit against the New York Yankees in the Championship Series).
Series MVP: Manny Ramírez (Boston)
The Boston team became the 18th in major league history to sweep its opponents in the World Series, and the 4th team to keep its opponent from obtaining the lead at any time in the Series. Considering American professional sports history in general, Boston became the 153rd team to make a series sweep, and the 25th team to have never trailed in a best-of-seven series. Boston led St. Louis at the end of 35 out of 36 total innings of play. The closest the Cardinals ever came to possessing the lead in the Series was on two different occasions in Game 1. The Cardinals tied the game at 7 in the top of the 6th inning. The Red Sox regained the lead with two runs in the bottom of the 7th. The Cardinals responded with two in the top of the 8th to tie the game at 9, but the Red Sox replied with two in the bottom of the same inning.
Both teams had lost their most recent 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.
|1||Boston 11, St. Louis 9||October 23|
|2||Boston 6, St. Louis 2||October 24|
|3||Boston 4, St. Louis 1||October 26|
|4||Boston 3, St. Louis 0||October 27|
Game 1, October 23
The first game of the 2004 World Series was played at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The American national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner", was performed by Steven Tyler of Aerosmith – whose musical career started in Boston even though he was born in New York – and was followed by a fly-over of F-16s provided by the Vermont Air National Guard, although the planes were heard more clearly than they were seen.
Tim Wakefield was the starting pitcher for the Red Sox, Woody Williams for the Cardinals. In the bottom of the 1st inning, Williams gave up a leadoff double to Johnny Damon, then hit Orlando Cabrera in the shoulder with a wild pitch. David Ortiz followed with a three-run home run. Still in the 1st, Kevin Millar scored on a Bill Mueller single to put the Red Sox up 4-to-0.
In the top of the 2nd inning, Jim Edmonds reached base on a bunt single. He would later score on a Mike Matheny sacrifice fly to make the score 4-1. Larry Walker homered to right field in the top of the 3rd inning to cut the lead to 4-2, but the Red Sox stopped the progress of the Cardinals with a double play which retired Albert Pujols and Scott Rolen. In the bottom of the 3rd, back-to-back singles by Damon and Cabrera drove in Mueller and Doug Mirabelli. Mark Bellhorn scored on a fielder's choice to shortstop Edgar Rentería to widen the Boston lead to 7-2. Preventing further damage, Kevin Millar grounded out with the bases loaded to end the 3rd.
In the top of the 4th inning, Edmonds scored again on a Matheny sacrifice fly, with Reggie Sanders scoring on a throwing error by first baseman Kevin Millar. Tony Womack, who had moved to third base on the error, scored on a So Taguchi ground out to third baseman Bill Mueller, cutting the Red Sox lead to two. In the top of the 6th inning, Rentería doubled on a line drive to center fielder Johnny Damon, scoring Taguchi. A Larry Walker double drove in Rentería, tying the game at 7.
Kelly Clarkson performed "God Bless America" during the 7th inning stretch. In the bottom of the 7th inning, a Manny Ramírez single, combined with a poor throw by Jim Edmonds, led to a run by Mark Bellhorn; the Red Sox regained the lead, 8-to-7. A David Ortiz line drive connected with the collarbone of second baseman Tony Womack, sending him to the bench, and Orlando Cabrera scored to put the Red Sox up 9-7.
In the top of the 8th inning, Edgar Rentería singled on a ground ball to left fielder Manny Ramírez. Jason Marquis scored on a Ramírez fielding error on that play. In the next at bat, Larry Walker hit a single to Ramírez, who fumbled the catch into a second error, and Roger Cedeño scored to tie the game at 9. After an intentional walk to Albert Pujols, the Cardinals had the bases loaded with one out. Keith Foulke, however, induced Scott Rolen to pop out and struck out Jim Edmonds. The Red Sox answered in the bottom of the inning, however. After Jason Varitek reached on a fielding error by Rentería, Mark Bellhorn homered into right field, and the Red Sox led 11-9. Bellhorn thus became the second baseman to hit homeruns in three consecutive playoff games, the first two coming in games 6 and 7 of the 2004 American League Championship Series against the Yankees.
In the top of the 9th inning, Keith Foulke struck out Roger Cedeño with a runner at second to end the game. Despite blowing an early lead, the Red Sox won 11-to-9, setting a new record for the highest scoring World Series opening game. The previous record had been set in 1932.
Attendance for the game was 35,035 and the time of the game was 4 hours even. (Play-by-play from ESPN.com)
|W: Keith Foulke (1-0) L: Julián Tavárez (0-1)|
|HR: STL – Larry Walker (1) BOS – David Ortiz (1), Mark Bellhorn (1)|
Game 2, October 24
Boston's Fenway Park was again the site for game 2. The Cardinals' starting pitcher was Matt Morris, while Curt Schilling started for the Red Sox. "The Star-Spangled Banner" was performed by platinum-selling musician James Taylor, a Boston native and Grammy Award-winning member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The game was played in a steady mist, with a game-time temperature of 48 degrees Fahrenheit (9 degrees Celsius).
Schilling allowed a two-out double to Albert Pujols, but escaped without allowing a run when Scott Rolen's hard-hit line drive was snared by third baseman Bill Mueller. In the home half, Manny Ramírez and David Ortiz walked with two out, setting the stage for Jason Varitek to bring both runners home with a triple that landed in the deepest part of the yard.
The Red Sox made their first of four errors in the game in the top of the 2nd inning, when third baseman Bill Mueller dropped a foul fly off the bat of Jim Edmonds. But Schilling bore down and got Edmonds out. Reggie Sanders walked and Tony Womack singled, but Mueller redeemed himself by catching a Mike Matheny line drive and tagging the running Sanders for a double play.
St. Louis reached the scoreboard in the 4th inning, thanks to Boston's second error. With Pujols on third, Sanders hit a ball that Mueller booted, allowing Pujols to score and narrow the gap to 2-1.
Boston wasted no time again extending their lead. Kevin Millar was hit by a Morris pitch, and Mueller doubled to right with two out, putting runners on first and third for Mark Bellhorn, who hit a ball almost as far as Varitek's first-inning blast, scoring both runners and making it a 4-1 game.
Cal Eldred relieved Morris in the 5th inning, and he was victimized in the 6th. Trot Nixon led off with a single to center. With two out, Johnny Damon singled to left and then Orlando Cabrera hit a ball midway up the Green Monster in left field that plated both Nixon and Damon, stretching the Red Sox advantage to 6-1.
In the top of the 6th, Mueller's bad day in the field continued, as he committed his World Series record-tying third error of the game, misplaying a ground ball hit by Scott Rolen. Bellhorn failed to play a ground ball by Edmonds a moment later, but the Sox got out of the jam when Mueller redeemed himself by fielding Reggie Sanders's ground ball for a fielder's choice.
The Cardinals would score their last run in the 8th inning. Reliever Mike Timlin walked Edgar Rentería, who moved to third on a grounder by Larry Walker and a single by Pujols. Scott Rolen then hit a sacrifice fly to center field, bringing Rentería home with the game's final run. Keith Foulke came on to strike out Jim Edmonds to end the rally.
Announced attendance was 35,001. The game lasted 3 hours 20 minutes. (Play-by-play from ESPN.com)
|W: Curt Schilling (1-0) L: Matt Morris (0-1)|
Game 3, October 26
For Game 3, the scene shifted to Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. "The Star-Spangled Banner" was performed by three-time Country Music Association awards winner, three-time Academy of Country Music Female Vocalist award winner, and Grammy Award winning country music singer Martina McBride. At a pregame ceremony, Edgar Martinez was presented with the 2004 Roberto Clemente Award.
Game time temperature was 64 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius). Pre-game rain stopped about half an hour before the first pitch, but left much of the outfield near the wall wet.
Manny Ramírez opened the scoring for the Red Sox with two out in the top of the 1st inning, sending a 2-2 pitch from the Cardinals' starting pitcher, former Red Sox player Jeff Suppan, into the bleachers over the wall in left-center field, which is 372 feet from home plate.
The starting pitcher for the Red Sox was Pedro Martinez. In the bottom of the 1st, the Cardinals loaded the bases with one out, but Jim Edmonds hit a fly ball to left fielder Ramirez, who threw home to catcher Jason Varitek to retire Larry Walker attempting to score from third, for an inning-ending double play. Replays showed that Walker had taken off because Albert Pujols, the runner at second, had led too far off the base, and would easily have been doubled off.
The Cardinals threatened again in the top of the 3rd inning, as Suppan beat out an infield single to third base and Edgar Rentería delivered a double to right-center field. But Walker grounded to first, and Suppan hesitated in his attempt to score. David Ortiz, making a rare appearance at first base (as there is no designated hitter in the National League), took the throw from second baseman Mark Bellhorn, retired Walker, and threw to third, where Bill Mueller tagged Suppan for a double play.
Trot Nixon extended the Red Sox lead to 2-0 in the top of the 4th, hitting a single to right field that scored Mueller, who had started the rally with a two-out double to left center.
Johnny Damon led off the Red Sox's 5th inning with a double to right, confounding Walker, who had trouble navigating the wet grass and warning track. Orlando Cabrera followed with a single to right, and Ramírez singled to left, scoring Damon. After Ortiz flied to center and Varitek grounded into a fielder's choice, Mueller singled sharply past first base, allowing Cabrera to score the Red Sox's fourth run. At that point, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa replaced Suppan with Al Reyes (Cardinals starting pitchers failed to finish the 5th inning in all 3 games played so far), who got the final out.
Martinez' outing ended after the 7th inning. He finished with six strikeouts, two walks, and three hits allowed. He retired the last 14 hitters, beginning with Walker's grounder. Mike Timlin came on to pitch the 8th.
Walker homered to center field off Keith Foulke with one out in the Cardinals' 9th to break up the shutout, as the rain returned. Foulke escaped further damage, and the Red Sox won the game 4-1, their seventh straight playoff victory. Walker's homer was the first and only run allowed by Foulke during the 2004 playoffs.
The game was played before 52,015 paying fans, in a brisk (for modern-day playoff baseball) 2 hours and 58 minutes. (Play-by-play from ESPN.com)
|W: Pedro Martínez (1-0) L: Jeff Suppan (0-1)|
|HR: BOS – Manny Ramírez (1) STL – Larry Walker (2)|
Game 4, October 27
The fourth and final game of the 2004 World Series also took place at Busch Stadium. Gretchen Wilson, a multi-platinum-selling country singer, 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; base where the planes flew from.
In attendance at the game was Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron, who holds the record for most home runs in a career (755). Aaron was a perennial All-Star, and the National League's Most Valuable Player 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 forshadowing the game's outcome, a total lunar eclipse was visible from the stadium starting around 8:14 PM local time, the first time a lunar eclipse has occurred during a post-season. The first pitch, from the Cardinals' starting pitcher, Jason Marquis, came at 7:26 PM 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.
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 3-0 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. 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, 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)
|W: Derek Lowe (1-0) L: Jason Marquis (0-1) S: Keith Foulke (1)|
|HR: BOS – Johnny Damon (1)|
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 final pennant match 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, witnesses claim, the police line along the entrance to Kenmore Square began to move in on the celebrators, pushing them down Commonwealth Avenue towards Boston University. The Police reportedly used pepper spray on the crowd, and also fired flash bang grenades on the front lines of fans, causing panicked crowds to swarm down Commonwealth.
People in the suburbs were also celebrating. In some places such as Lynn, screams of rape were heard, fireworks were set off and people were banging pots and pans. At last count, 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.
- 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.
- For the third year in a row, a Wild Card team won the World Series.
- 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.
- 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.
- The AL had been awarded home-field advantage having won the All-Star game, giving the Red Sox advantage at Fenway Park despite St. Louis having the superior regular season record (Boston 98-64, St. Louis 105-57).
- The Red Sox were the first team to play an entire World Series without trailing at any point during any game since the Oakland Athletics in 1989 against the San Francisco Giants. The Red Sox also became the first team in MLB history to hold a lead at some point in every inning during the World Series.
- Notable was the supposed breaking of the Curse with the final out being recorded by Edgar Renteria. Renteria, like Babe Ruth, was adorned with the number three. 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.
- Supposedly, the first two players to hug each other after Keith Foulke tossed the ball to Doug Mientkiewicz were Gabe Kapler (#19) and Johnny Damon (#18) representing the last time the Red Sox had won the World Series, 1918.
- The Red Sox victory in the World Series was their first World Series victory in 86 years. The last time that they had been to the World Series was in 1986, which was 18 years before. Before 2004, the Red Sox last won the World Series in 1918.
Quotes of the Series
- Edgar Renteria, the last chance for St. Louis to extend this game...back to Foulke...Red Sox Fans have longed to hear it! The Boston Red Sox are world champions!
--Joe Buck, FOX Sports
- 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?
|Major League Baseball World Series|