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Sports Then and Now




Five Years Ago Today: Red Sox Reverse Curse

Posted on October 27, 2009 by Joe Gill
Red Sox Nation cried, smiled, and celebrated on October 27, 2004.

Red Sox Nation cried, smiled, and celebrated on October 27, 2004.

October 27th marks the fifth anniversary of the Red Sox reversing the 86 year curse. Damn five years went by quickly (I hate getting old!), but I remember that night like it was yesterday. It was a crisp clear autumn night with a full moon. I was meeting all my friends at the Grand Canal in Boston to witness arguably the most exciting, incredible, and unbelievable moment in Boston Sports History.

The Red Sox were on the cusp of finally Reversing that f@$#@*& curse!

However, let’s step back and rewind back to the ALCS versus the hated Yankees.  After dispatching the LA California Angels of Anaheim at Disney in the Divisional Series, the Sox sputtered and were left for dead after a 19-8 thrashing at home. They were in a three games to none hole. Everyone in Red Sox Nation began to focus on the Patriots, Bruins, and Celtics (If you really thought they were coming back from down 3-0, you are a liar or a psychic).

Baseball season in Boston was over.

Or was it?

Folks, I am going to come clean with you first. I have not been a die hard fan since 1986. I used to watch the Sox religiously as a kid. I remember watching the Sox, especially Yaz, on my little Black and White TV in my family’s outside screen house.

I cried when Yaz retired in ’83. I still remember the newspaper clippings of Yaz sitting in his rocking chair that was presented to him at the retirement ceremony. I can still see him making his farewell lap at Fenway Park.

After Yaz retired, I became a huge fan of Dwight “Dewey” Evans(his number should be retired and I am still upset that lazy Manny wore #24). I think I still have an oversized baseball card of him somewhere.

I was in love with the Red Sox.

Then it happened.  The ’86 World Series versus the Mets.

You all know what happened. No need to go back down Horror Show Lane.

I was no longer a diehard. I just became a follower of New England’s baseball team.

I mentally prepared myself for heartache. I rooted for them in the playoffs and wanted them to win, but I didn’t jump off the Tobin if they didn’t (The Pats and B’s are a different story!).

In 2003, when Aaron “bleeping” Boone hit the series winning homerun off Tim Wakefield, I didn’t crawl in a ball and die. I was okay with it. It was part of who the Sox were.

Close again, but no victory cigar.

I accepted it.

So when the Sox got dismantled by the Yankees in 2004, my mind was already erasing the baseball memories from my memory. I was making room for my fall sports brothers to take center stage.

Boys of summer, thanks for another “try”.

See you in April.

When they were down in Game 4, I shut off the TV and went to bed. I couldn’t bear seeing the Yankees celebrate on our home ballpark field.

I just hated them so much!

Something woke me. I made my way to my cell phone. I fired it up and winced as the final score was downloading.

Wait. What? They tied it up!

TV is back on. Ortiz hits the game winning homer and a breathe of air goes back in the lungs of Red Sox Nation.

They win Game 5 in dramatic fashion again! Big Papi is Mr. Clutch!

I keep telling myself that they can’t do this to us. They better win this damn thing.

I mentioned to my boss if, scratch that, when they win Game 6, the next game will be played during our flight to Seattle!!!!!!!!!

UGH!!!!!

The Bloody Sock and the series is tied up!

The Red Sox snatched victory from jaws of defeat when they beat New York in the ALCS.

The Red Sox snatched victory from jaws of defeat when they beat New York in the ALCS.

I am going to be on a f%*&%$ plane to Seattle! NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I brought a radio on the plane. I was prepared to scramble the plane’s instrument panel to hear the Sox beat their hated rivals from New York!

As we crossed over the Rocky Mountains, the plane hit some horrific turbulence. My hands were clenching my legs so hard that I almost severed veins and arteries with my finger nails!

I thought I was going to buy it!

I asked the flight attendant if she has been through bad turbulence before and she said “This is the worst I have seen.” Well that comforted me. NOT!

I guess the man upstairs wanted me to see the greatest comeback in baseball history!

After tearing up my last will and testament, I broke out my radio. No signal! Damn how am I going to get score updates?

The pilot came over the PA and made the following announcement, “Sox 8 and Yankees 1 in the sixth.”

The cabin roared in jubilation!

Now the question was would we land in time to hear/see the end of the game?

Descent.

Landing gear on runway.

Speed dial to my mom.

“Mom, what’s the score of the game? Who is winning?”

She responded, “Oh my god Joey, its 10-3 Red Sox with two outs in the ninth!”

“Who is up?”

She responded, “The skinny guy.”

“Can you be more specific?”

She said, “Rueben Sierra” “Oh my god he just grounded out! It’s over! They are going to the World Series!”

I just got a chill writing this.

Plane erupts again!

I yell over to my co-workers. “They did it!”(Last thing I said to them was, “I am taking a car home from Seattle!” after my earlier brush with death.)

We run to a coffee shop in the airport to see the celebration. It was moving and emotional.

What a moment!!

I saw a Yankees fan and screamed, “We finally got you!!”

My friends were calling me from Copley Square. Boston was going bananas!!

And I was Sox-less in Seattle!

Let’s fast forward to game 4 of the World Series.

Dreams do come true! The 2004 Boston Red Sox were champions!

The Red Sox snatched victory from the jaws of defeat when they beat New York in the ALCS.

Grand Canal Bar on Canal Street in Boston.

My friend and Boston native,  Kenny flew in from Atlanta. We got to the bar at 4:30PM to make sure we had good seats right in front of a huge plasma TV. My other friends Joe(The Man in the Mirror) and Anthony joined us, the bar was filling quickly.

No other place I rather be.

Good friends and hopefully great memories.

The atmosphere was electric!

Damon hits a homer to open the game. The crowd was amped.

Derek Lowe was pitching great and he did it effortlessly. The Cardinal hitters already lost and they didn’t even know it yet.

Bottom of the ninth, I was leaning on the bar and in a praying posture. They can’t blow this I thought to myself. It’s so close!

Foulke pitches to Renteria. Ground ball and then you hear, “Back to Foulke, Red Sox fans have longed to hear it: The Boston Red Sox are World Champions.”

86 years of frustration and heartache, flooded into the streets of Beantown as a wave of jubilation and joy.

I put my head on the bar and…..sobbed.

I had tears in my eyes. They finally did it and I was here to see it.

The little 10 year old boy, who loved the Sox, Yaz and Dewey, was finally at peace.

Red Sox Nation cried, smiled, and celebrated on October 27, 2004.

The Sox won. Not just for themselves but for every Sox player and fan who endured all the sadness and

Five years ago today, the Red Sox finally "Reversed the Curse".

Five years ago today, the Red Sox finally "Reversed the Curse".

disappointment for so long.

October 27, 2004

Even though, the Red Sox are not in the series, take time this day and remember how happy you were when your beloved baseball team was on top of the world.

And you were smiling, crying, and hugging your friends.

We all remember forever, where we were when they “Reversed the Curse”!

Check back every Tuesday and Friday for the next Cup Of Joe.  If you have a story idea or just want to talk sports, you can e-mail Joe directly at bostonsportsthenandnow@gmail.com


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