1:06 AM (October 27, 2004) - I can't sleep - I can't believe it has come to this, and has come to this so quickly in this series ... this will be the fifth time in my life that I will watch a game that could result in a Red Sox World Championship:
- October 12, 1967 - Game 7 - Fall River, MA: Home for Columbus Day after my first month at Boston College, I watched Jim Lonborg struggle on short rest and had to go outside, unable to watch the end of the game
- October 22, 1975 - Game 7 - Raleigh, NC: Sitting on the edge of my seat in my first apartment, still giddy from Fisk's immortal home run the night before as well as th eoverall excellence of the entire series, I watched a three run lead evaporate and the Reds celebrate at Fenway
- October 25, 1986 - Game 6 - Raleigh, NC: Standing in my fourth apartment in front of the TV with one strike to go, holding a champagne bottle and ready to pour it over myself in the shower once the Sox won, I considered it one of my greatest displays of self-control not to throw the bottle through the screen but instead put it back in the refrigerator. I went to bed thinking, as I had all series, "They will lose in seven games - they always lose in seven games ..."
- October 27, 1986 - Game 7 - Raleigh, NC: I watched another early three run lead disappear, and the prediction I never wanted to be true came true - again.
- October 27, 2004 - Game 4 (!!!) - Raleigh, NC: ??????????????????
8:13 AM - debugging complete - I overflowed my 10Mb of space for the web site! Temporary fix: deleted a whole directory of family photos - will fix that later ...
5:18 PM (and frequently updated for the next 19 glorious hours) - I'm doing this entry from work. I just finished reading today's Sports Guy's column The next win is for everyone. I needed to dry my eyes a few times after that one, and when I go home I will read the Sons of Sam Horn thread "Win It For". But now I have to start writing my own "Win It For"s:
- Win it for all the Sox who wore my dad's number, 10: Luis Alicea, Carlos Baerga, Esteban Beltre, Mike Brumley, Ken Chase, Ed Connelly Sr., Andre Dawson, Billy Gardner, Rich Gedman, Billy Goodman, Don Gutteridge, Billy Harrell, Scott Hatteberg, Rick Lancelotti, Bill Montgomery, Gerry Moses, Marv Olsen, Muddy Ruel, Bob Seeds, Gene Stephens, Willie Tasby, Bob Tillman, Lee Tinsley, Jim Wilson, and Pinky Woods, all of whom never won a World Series wearing number 10 for the Red Sox (thanks to An Archive of red Sox Uniform Numbers)
- Win it for David McCarty, who didn't make the Sox playoff roster but who wears number 10 now
- Win it for Lefty Grove, the Hall of Fame pitcher who wore number 10 for Boston from 1934 to 1941, when my dad was young - Lefty could have been my father's inspiration to choose number 10 (I got chills when I made that connection this evening) ...
- Win it for all of the family members and friends who shared games with me at Fenway:
- starting with all those games while attending BC, my first game September 16, 1967 (Section 7, Row 39, Seat 11); especially win it for Bill Kendall, who has shared with me his lifelong passion for the Sox ever since (we lived in the dorms with a lot of non-Sox fans) - he is sad that his son in the Peace Corps in Ghana will be unable to listen to the game or have anyone to share it with - keep the faith, Bill - I believe you were there at the greatest comeback I've ever attended (May 16, 1968 - Sox score 6 in the eighth to beat the Yankees 11-10 - we endured some serious rain dripping off the roof onto our box seats (section 22, box 134H) but it was worth it);
- my two N.C. friends with whom I've enjoyed more baseball games than anyone - Rick Hardison, who always was ready for a ballgame on every business trip from Boston (August 6, 1994) to Yankee Stadium (August 16, 1988) to Atlanta to Nashville to Arlington and more, but most special for me "An Evening With The Heroes Of Baseball" on August 7, 1994, in Boston (Mickey Mantle, Carlton Fisk, Dom DiMaggio, Jim Rice, Johnny Pesky (got his autograph), Lou Brock, Curt Flood, Walt Dropo, Mark Fidrych, Jim Lonborg, Mickey Lolich, Bobby Thompson, Ralph Branca, Bill Mazeroski, Buck O'Neil, Earl Weaver, Jay Johnstone, hosted by Bob Costas, with Ken Burns, and starring my idol Ted Williams!!!)); and especially Ken Traynham, with whom I've been to every Organized Baseball park in N.C. (including the farewells of the Port City Roosters and Cape Fear Crocs; both last games at Durham Athletic Park; and both back-to-back 2002-2003 International League championships at Durham Bulls Athletic Park), most in VA, TN (speaking of which, thank you, thank you, thank you for buying for me what turned out to be my Lucky Hat for all time - the Elizabethton Twins, which I wore throughout the playoffs, except for Sunday when I left it in a Chili's restaurant and retrieved it on Monday - since I didn't know it was lost in Game 2, it still retained its powers, and it got it back on the travel day - I didn't wear anything Sox this [postseason, a first - you must respect a streak - I'm OK really, we just won't talk about the lucky SpongeBob Cheez-It box bought for my Yankee fan nephew Michael at the start of the final 8 game streak), and SC (the fireworks-induced flaming palm tree in Charleston - August 16, 1999), and I'm glad to say Fenway too (June 5, 1998 - my last game there so far) - they are not lifelong Sox fans but they are lifelong lovers of baseball:
- my family (siblings Jerie, Rich, Anne, Elaine, Michelle, their spouses, kids, and relatives), not only when I was finally able to attend my first Sox game with my dad on June 10, 1995, but also that Pawsox game when the van's tires were slashed (June 17, 1995); and the first interleague series, when Dad got to see both of his boyhood teams play, the Sox and the Braves (August 31, 1997); and the night standing under the Fenway seats with Anne and Elaine, waiting more than two hours for the rain out to be called (August 5, 1994); and the strange game sitting on the roof where my sisters and I got both sunburned and frozen (June 30, 1990); and the game at Camden yards with my BC roommate Tom Stepka, the last time we saw Nolan Ryan pitch (August 21, 1993) - he only pitched three more times; the game with Anne, my BC classmate Dave Castiglioni and his son (my godson) Andrew when the 1918 team was honored (September 4, 1993); and the game with my father and Uncle Roland when Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 200th homer (May 21, 1996); and the games in Cincinnati (August 13, 14, 1982) and Arlington (May 5, 1998) and Atlanta (October 3, 1999) shared with my brother Rich (and on Cinco de Mayo with Dad, too)
- Win it for my brother Rich, with whom I've shared more baseball experiences, side-by-side and and long distance, than with anyone except maybe for my father; who has a plaque with a diagram of Fenway with autographed baseballs of every Sox player in THE Game 6, because he was there; who sat with me through (a partial list): May 28, 1990; July 5, 1991; July 6, 1991; September 7, 1992 (Clemens vs Ryan - my all-time pitching matchup); September 9, 1992; September 12, 1992; the final 3 games played at Arlington Stadium (Oct. 1, 2, 3, 1993), there to see Nolan Ryan's last game but was given instead a magical moment, both dugouts emptied onto the field to honor George Brett's last at bat; July 2, 1994; July 6, 1994; and whom I expect to be talking on the phone to tonight when the last out is made and the tears and laughs pour out ...
- Win it for my Dad Rene, who had a pitching tryout on the mound at Fenway and was called back the next day but couldn't go because he had to work at the garage for his father (that's an ultimate "what if?" for my family ...); who had many baseball discussions with me, especially about not if the Red Sox would break our hearts that season, but when; and who will have the best view tonight, looking down on the park from heaven, seats he's had for the past two years - to say I wish he was here tonight is such an understatement - Love you, Dad - this is for you - Go Sox!
7:45 PM - A point passed on by the Sports Guy: The Celtics won their first championship against St. Louis (1957); the Bruins broke a 41-year Stanley Cup drought against St. Louis (1970); and the Patriots won their first Super Bowl against St. Louis (2002).
Also don't forget about the total lunar eclipse (first in World Series history) - it will be red, but whose red? If your skies are overcast like ours will probably be, check out the live webcast at NASA.
Now on to World Series Game 4 (October 27, 2004):
8:25 PM - Not big on country music, but St. Louis keeps trotting out very good singers ...
8:29 PM - Oh my God! Damon make sure that the Sox will score first again tonight!! ... If Fox makes the batting stat graphics any bigger, you won't be able to see the player at all - why not broadcast the games on Bloomberg Network?
8:43 PM - Walker bunting Womack over - a rare display of NL-style baseball in theis series ... 24 interminable outs to go
8:56 PM - The Sox offfense picks up tonight where they were each other night ... nice bunt by DLowe, forcing a slick fielder like Rolen to let the runners advance ... keep the offensive pressure on those Cardinal starters ...
9:06 PM - Keep eating up those outs - 21 outs to go ...
9:13 PM - Even Dale Sveum's in the game, holding Manny up at third! But then did he send him on the hot shot to Pujols? ... Bases loaded, 2 outs, Nixon at the plate - a 3-0 pitch just short of a grand slam - we'll take the 2 runs!!! For the past 10 days Fox has been showing shot after shot of fans with pained expressions, and I realize they look like Sox fans, but they're Yankee and Cardinal fans!
9:32 PM - Shades of last night: 9 straight Cards retired after a leadoff hit - 18 waiting-for-the-other-shoe-to-drop outs to go ...
9:41 PM - Bob Stocking, author of Keeping the Faith - I didn't know you were watching this in Irving, TX, home of the Cowboys! There are Sox fans everywhere tonight - I'm sure you'll find some ...
9:48 PM - 12 in a row retired and 15 edge-of-your-seat outs to go - Francona ought to start warming up relievers every inning starting next inning just to have someone ready right away
9:52 PM - Senor Octubre gets a leadoff walk, the fifth in as many innings ... starting Big Papi kept him alive and out of the DP ... didn't get the 2 out RBI hit - now that Marquis made it through five innings, I'm nervous about changing omens ...
10:07 PM - Only the Cards second hit, but following a hard liner to Mueller and followed by a wild pitch, my nerves are acting up ... impending sense of doom postponed by Mabry's controversial K - and amazingly, once again the argument goes to the Sox ... Cabrera carefully fields the grounder, and now there are 12 potentially-life-altering outs to go
10:21 PM - Maintain constant offensive pressure, but please, score some more runs ...
10:32 PM - I feel like I've been holding my breath for 2 1/2-plus hours (and counting) ... another inning in the books and there are now 9 oh-please-oh-please outs to go
10:41 PM - Continuing to demonstrate the huge cultural chasm between the Athens of America and The Gateway to the West, but they do sing purty ...
10:44 PM - The ghost of Dave Stapleton can rest easy now that Doug M is in at first ... at 7 outs and a runner on first, it's waaaay too soon for Fox to be going over life in 1918 ... 6 can-you-stand-it outs to go
10:56 PM - Relentless - the attack continues ... thank you, Trot!! Tito seems to be pressing the right buttons and La Russa finally matches one of those NL double-switches, bringing in the closer down 3 ... to work off the nervous energy (which is growing by the inning), I'm packing (cleaning will be next at this rate) ... thank you, Derek! ... thank you, Mark! ... can you say grand slam, Kevin Millar??? ... no, well then, how about you, Johnny Damon?? ... an excellent (although not as awesome as ex-Card McCarver is gushing) play by Pujols says no, so we're at 2 outs, right where the Sox want you ... I can't sit still, am pacing around more ... gasp, gulp, no momentum shifts, please - do I have to say it again, IT'S NEVER EASY!!!
11:12 PM - Why Arroyo? Why not Timlin or Embree or Foulke??? Ease my fears ... 5 outs to go (where have I heard that before?) ... Larry Walker and David Wells - separated at birth? I keep thinking I see Wells when it's really Walker ... time to get a full-time reliever in - Embree enters in a save situation, with the tying run on deck ... I don't need this ... 4 outs to go! ... pop up - 3 apocalyptic outs to go !!!
11:25 PM - Are we about to start the last inning ever of life as we have always known it??? This inning is flying by, I'm not ready to confront my destiny ... Go ahead, Fox, show Buckner, show Boone, their power may be ending very soon ... I could use a couple more runs ...
11:32 PM - OK, this is it ... just finish it ... I may have to finish the blog later - I'm going to focus on the inning ...
1:23 AM - I'm sitting here, drinking from my bottle of Besserat de Bellefon Brut champagne, listening to Baseball Tonight and now Sports Center (still got a half hour more to put on my videotape) - I can listen to this forever!!!!
I talked with Rich throughout the bottom of the ninth (his first question: have you lit the victory cigar?), celebrated the true Impossible Dream with him - learning from 1986, we both waited until the game was over to retrieve our champagne bottles, we made a toast (including to Dad), and talked and talked. then I called my sister Michelle and talked a long while too - I'll see her in 18 hours; might even go to Friday's victory parade. My new mantra is "I don't care!" - all of the bugaboos are in the past - I actually said Bucky Dent without the curse word for the first time in 26 years! It doesn't hurt anymore! Johnny Pesky, Ted Williams, Joe McCarthy, Denny Galehouse, Don Buddin, Dick Stuart, Don Zimmer, Bill Lee, Mike Torrez, Carl Yastrzemski, Calvin Schiraldi, Bob Stanley (and that is hard for me to say), Bill Buckner, Roger Clemens, Grady Little, Tim Wakefield, all Red Sox for the past 86 years, are all off the hook forever!!!! I know 25 guys who will never have to buy another meal anywhere in New England for the rest of their lives!
Excuse me, but I have to complete a task I had planned 18 years ago and pour some champagne over myself ... and then on to the second half of our lives, the Great Unknown!! I can't wait!
THANK YOU, RED SOX!!!
THE RED SOX ARE WORLD CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
|Other Blog Pages
2004 ALCS Game 7
2004 World Series Game 1
2004 World Series Game 2
2004 World Series Game 3
2005 Victory Tour
2006 Stanley Cup Champion Carolina Hurricanes
2004 World Series Game 4
- Boston.com Log
- Boston Globe's Red Sox Championship Commemorative Section - WS Game 4 Recap
- The possible dream: Amazing Red Sox end 86 years of frustration with Series sweep of Cardinals (Bob Hohler)
Red Sox complete sweep, win first Series since 1918 (Dan Shaughnessy)
- The Nation's destination: Destiny (Sports Guy Bill Simmons)
- Nirvana in New England (Peter Gammons)
- As we'd expect, it was wild ride (Bob Ryan)
- Now the tears are of joy (Jackie MacMullan)
- Time to say thanks for job well done (Jackie MacMullan)
- For epstein, actions speak just as loud as words (Nick Cafardo)
- Pesky's patience rewarded (Jim McCabe)
- Lowe's road to glory (Gordon Edes)
- Nixon's gamers end frustration (Kevin Paul Dupont)
- Most valuable in the clutch: Ramirez heated up at appropriate time (John Powers)
- Again, the winners were happy followers of Damon (Jim McCabe)
- End of Series will bring a lot of questions (Bob Hohler)
- For multitudes, years of torment end in bliss (Raja Mishra)
- Victory transforma a region's identity (Thomas Farragher)
- Sox sweep their way to title (Buster Olney)
- Red Sox Nation rejoice (Jim Caple)
- Cards 2nd highest win team to lose World Series (Associated Press)
- Ramirez hits .412 for World Series (Associated Press)
- The change of all changes (Jayson Stark)
- Game 4: Useless info ... (Jayson Stark)
- Plenty of curses left to vex (Jim Baker)
Baseball Almanac 2004 World Series
Boston.com (Boston Globe) Red Sox
- Boston Globe's Red Sox Championship Commemorative Section
- 1903, 1912, 1915, 1916: Boston starts to build a winning tradition of its own
- 1918: It may have been the last title, but it was hardly the best
- 1946: The season was a mad dash, from start to finish
- 1967: The 'Impossible Dream' season was a magical ride and revived hope
- 1975: In epic clash, Game 6 -- and Fisk's homer -- everlasting
- 1986: One strike away: The standard for booting victory is set
Boston Red Sox - The Official Site
Keeping The Faith
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