“Back to Foulke. Red Sox fans have longed to hear it, the Boston Red Sox are world champions!”
Those are the words that Joe Buck proclaimed to a national audience on October 27, 2004. Those are the words that will forever ring in the ears of Red Sox Nation. Those are the words that will be recited for generations to come.
On a cold Fall night at Busch Memorial Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri, Edgar Renteria hit a sharp bouncer back to closer Keith Foulke, who almost casually tossed it to 1st baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, and The Boston Red Sox finally ended their 86-year championship drought known as “The Curse of the Bambino.”
This particular iteration of the Red Sox, the “Why Not Us” crew, the “Idiots,” entered the 2004 season with a chip on their shoulders following the gutting defeat to the New York Yankees in the 2003 ALCS, and it looked like the season would end much in the same fashion after they fell behind those same Yankees 3 games to none, once again in the ALCS. No team in the history of the MLB had ever recovered from that sort of deficit in a playoff series, but they battled back, famously asking the question, “Why not us?”
(The 2004 “Idiot” Red Sox are honored on field at Fenway Park in 2014 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of their World Series victory. Photo credit: WBUR)
In a run complete with plenty of storybook worthy drama (Dave Roberts’ steal, Papi’s heroics) it felt like the fate of the World Series was almost a forgone conclusion when the St. Louis Cardinals rolled into Boston for Game 1. 5 days and 4 games later, the dog pile at the pitcher’s mound was full of joy and exaltation.
Davis Square was a mad house. Cask’n Flagon on Brookline Ave. erupted. The streets of Boston and all of New England flooded with celebrating fans. It was pure ecstasy. The weight of Babe Ruth’s ghost was finally lifted off the collective shoulders of every person, deceased or alive, who had suffered for so many years. The Curse was finally over.