ImageOmitting the 2004 Boston Red Sox from a Summer of Thanks for anyone born in New England and raised on the radio voices of Curt Gowdy and Ned Martin would be tantamount to living in New England and rooting for the Yankees AND the Jets.  *shudder* My love the Red Sox started at the age of 8 with the 1967 Impossible Dream Red Sox.  That magical year carried me into the cocoon of Red Sox Nation (before it became trendy).  Like everyone else around my age, my favorite players were Carl Yastrzemski and Jim Lonborg.  I remember listening to the radio under my covers past my bedtime, Curt and Ned painted a clear picture of the pennant race to me.  Of course, no one told me that when the magical run ended with a Game 7 loss to Bob Gibson’s St. Louis Cardinals that I needed to assume the “Curse of the Bambino” for the next three decades.  So many close calls after that; the 1972 strike season when the Sox finished 1/2 game behind the Tigers and played one less game due to the strike, 1975 World Series loss in Game 7, the 1978 Bucky “#$%^&*” Dent home run in the one-game playoff game, the 1986 World Series loss that featured the Bill Buckner error in Game 6, and the 2002 playoff loss to the Yankees in Game 7 (aka the Grady Little game).  Every year started with “The Red Sox having not won a World Series since selling Babe Ruth to the Yankees, blah, blah, blah”.

Of course Yankee fans loved to taunt the Red Sox faithful with the “Curse of the Bambino”.  I hated them so much; still do, I am known as a slow forgiver.  That all changed in 2004.  I remember walking over to one of my Northland Street friends house after the terrible 19 – 8 loss in Game 3 and hearing it again; from Colt fans, in a town without a baseball team!  Ridiculous!  Then the comebacks started, highlighted by Dave Roberts’ steal and the Bill Mueller’s hit off Mariano Rivera (who the Red Sox own by the way), the big hits by Big Papi in Games 5 and 6, and, finally, crushing the Yankees in Yankee Stadium in Game 7.  I had reason to hope, but standing in their way were those St. Louis Cardinals; the team from my youth.  Suddenly, after 3 straight wins the Red Sox were on the cusp of victory in Game 4 in St. Louis and there I was on my hands and knees in front of the TV rocking back and forth wearing the string bracelet that Caitlin had made for me for luck around my wrist.  They won.  Game 4.  A World Series victory.  The curse over.  I was crying (shocking to those that know me) and talking to my old friend, Bill Cassidy who at 80 years of age claimed the Sox were going to put him in the grave.  Suddenly, the world was in its greased groves (a little literacy reference).

The Sox have won two more World Series since that time in 2007 and last year, but none are as sweet as that 2004 Red Sox team.