With all due respect to Lil Dogg (and George Brett) the REAL anniversary today is the 14th Anniversary of:
Entering July 24, 2004, the Sox were 52-44, and sitting 8.5 games behind the Yankees in the standings. The teams were 10 months removed from one of the best LCS’ in memory- ending, like so many battles with the Boys from the Bronx, in misery for the local 9.
One lasting memory from that series however- aside from Grady Little’s implosion- was THE BRAWL:
GOD DAMN…that was WILD! One of the craziest things I had seen during a sporting event. Peak McCarver Pedro-Hate…Karim Garcia playing the ultimate hateable Yankee….and then….Zimmer going down.
The rest of the game featured police officers lining foul territory for fear of…god knows what.
Well 10 months later, the issue wasn’t resolved for me and my 34,500 friends who poured into Fenway on a rainy Saturday. It was so rainy, that the Sox ownership was about to cancel the game, and told the Yankees as much. But, Terry Francona held a clubhouse vote, and the Sox’ players decided (25-0) to play no matter what.
When the Yanks were informed they were still playing, A-rod had already begun oiling himself up for a night out on the town, and Jeter was flipping through a portfolio of cocktail waitresses from The Rack, deciding who to summon to his suite….so clearly, they weren’t in the best of moods.
Meanwhile, the crowd- already lubed up from some Saturday day drinking- was in the park for a late-announced hour rain delay…with nothing to do but pound Bud Lights. Your boy had a connect in the Right Field beer stand- shout out Jimmy B. Bring up your old cup all stealth like and voila: Free beer. It was too easy.
We also had to endure the torture of a live Dropkick Murphy’s performance…almost ruined the entire day for me. That’s right…I was sick of them even before you were supposed to be.
So, by the time the top of the 3rd rolled around, the Sox were down 2-0, and the crowd was…shall we say…tense. But the game, the season, and the fortunes of the franchise were about to change.
I can’t describe the buzz in that place when this went down. And the minute Varitek’s glove went up in the face….ERUPTION. Just W.I.L.D. All of a sudden, fans of a real sport, turned into 35,001 wrestling fans. It was so god damn cool that I even give Varitek a pass on the punk ass move of having his mask on. Seriously, though, JV, no Bueno.
Now, I had never been in attendance for anything so great in my life…that was until the Sox came up in the bottom of the 9th, trailing 10-8 and facing Mariano Rivera. And then this happened…
You can tell me whatever you want about big wins, and playoff games, and Championships. I’ll tell you this. There has never been a building more Electric in the history of Boston sports, than Fenway was at the moment that ball landed in the RF bleachers.
The scene out on the street was absolute mayhem. But I CLEARLY remember Ms Le Cap and myself drunkenly remarking with others around us that this team was going to go on a run. Everyone seemed to think it was a big win even at the time. And it was. Maybe the biggest regular season win of all time.