Thursday, October 20, 2005


(Boston Globe photograph/Jim Davis)

Dan Shaughnessy: Mark it down. Oct. 20. It will always be the day that Sox citizens were liberated from 8 decades of torment and torture at the hands of the New York Yankees and their fans. Boston Baseball's Bastille Day. -Courtesy of the story, Seventh Heaven by David Lefort

Well... Exactly one year ago tonight was the night that the Red Sox finally exorcised all of the "demons" that had haunted them for 86 long and agonizing years. Babe Ruth, Bucky Dent, Bill Buckner, even Aaron Boone were all forgotten on that fateful night. I remember it as if it were yesterday.....

My roommate Chris and I had decided that after going to a bar with a bunch of guys to watch game 3 (the game the Sox lost 17-9), that we were going to watch the rest of the series in the dorm room. He had this adult baby suit (the ones with the slippers attached, and it had a whole body zipper, complete with nice little teddy bears), and somehow we decided that the suit was "good luck" and that if I wore it the rest of the series, the Sox had a chance to win. So I said what the hell, I'm going to wear the damn suit, I don't care. Whatever I'm in my room.

(embarrassing... I know)

After watching the Sox all but blow game 4, I thought the suit was bullshit. I was pissed. Again? The Sox are going to come this far again and lose it all? I mean really, what the hell? Then Millar walks. Dave Roberts steals second, and Billy Meuller gets a base-hit up the middle, tied ball game. Uh-oh, maybe this suit has a little magic?

Ortiz ends up winning game 4 and 5 like we all know. I wore the suit for Game 5, and then again for game 6, as the Red Sox sent it to game 7. I have never been such a wreck in my life. Honestly, I have never felt anything like that feeling before. It was unbelievable. Every inning, every pitch, my stomach was in knots. It was crazy. The Yanks would get a runner on second or third, and I'd be a wreck the next couple of pitches. We had this little ritual of building up a clap before the pitch like they would be able to hear us, or it would somehow do good. All I remember is the Sox building a big lead, and Pedro coming into the game for some reason late, and him getting in a bunch of trouble. I was still in the suit, but I had these thoughts in my head that somehow, they were going to blow it. There was no need for Pedro. The only thing it did was fire up the New York crowd. Remember, this is the time that they hated Pedro, the "Who's your daddy" chants... The Sox had completely demoralized the Yankees and their fans before Pedro entered the game, and having him come in did nothing but fire up the crowd, the last thing I wanted to happen. I just remember the Yankees getting what seemed like hit after hit, but Pedro eventually buckled down, and the Sox kept the lead.

(Chris during game 7 , eaxactly one year ago tonight)
With the Sox leading 10-3, Alan Embree got the final out, and I will never forget that feeling of relief or adulation or I don't know what it was. I really have never felt anything like that before. It was unbelievable. Jumping up and down in that crazy suit, hugging and high fiving anyone I could find, it was unbelievable. After all of the heartache of the year before, after all of those years of watching every single game, that dream that I always thought would happen eventually, finally came through. It will go down as one of the best days of my life. Thank you Boston Red Sox... Thank you...


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