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Teachers Remember 2004 Red Sox

Team to Honor 20 Year Anniversary of Championship

On this Tuesday, April 9, the Boston Red Sox are honoring the 2004 World Series Champions on opening day as a remembrance of a team that had the region, including students and teachers at RMHS, devoted to a curse being broken after eighty-six years of pain and suffering.

The Curse

It had been eighty-six years since the Red Sox had won the World Series championship. In 1918, the last time the Red Sox hoisted the World Series trophy, Babe Ruth (nicknamed the Great Bambino) was the star of the team. Back then, there were only sixteen teams in the entire league, compared to the thirty teams that compete today. In 1920, the Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to their rival, the New York Yankees, in what is known to Red Sox fans as the “Curse of the Bambino.” Since that move, the Red Sox had won no World Series titles, while the Yankees had won twenty-six.

The Red Sox reached the World Series four times and each of the four times they had faced a game seven, where one more win would give them a championship, but they lost every time. The Red Sox fans grew to expect the repeated failure. History teacher Mr. d’Entremont remembered that many people watched the 2004 Red Sox wondering, “Were they going to disappoint once again? Because it has been like that for many, many decades.” Many die hard Red Sox fans had lived their entire lives without seeing the team win a World Series. History teacher Mr. DeBenedictis mentioned, that “My dad had died when I was in high school in the 1980s and he was a huge Red Sox fan and they never won for him.” The eighty-six year drought between championships is the 2nd longest drought of all time out of the four major sports (NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL).

A lot of people were wearing Red Sox hats and shirts. They were staying up late at night for the playoffs…

— Mr. d'Entremont

An Improbable Comeback

After falling behind three games to none in the 2004 American League Championship Series (the round before the World Series), Red Sox fans believed it was another year of failure. They knew that no team in the history of baseball had ever come back from a three games to none series deficit in a best of seven series. They had seen the same movie many times before – a group of talented Boston players getting the fans hopeful, before coming up short in the end.

However, in sports and in life, it’s never over until it’s over. The Red Sox bounced back and won game four and game five of the series to make it three games to two, and send the series back to New York. Red Sox fans started to really believe again. “There was a buzz. Everywhere, not just in school.” said Mr. DeBenedictis. “Once you got to game six, I think people really started to feel something.”   

Impact on the Community

As the Red Sox got closer and closer to completing the comeback against the Yankees and moving onto the World Series, the team’s impact on the community grew larger. “A lot of people were wearing Red Sox hats and shirts. They were staying up late at night for the playoffs,” said Mr. d’Eentremont. “It was a very special time.” 

Mr. DeBenedictis also recalled staying up for all of the games: “All the games were super late, and I remember staying up every night past midnight. I remember somewhere around 1:00 in the morning on a school night my phone starts ringing off the hook with my friends I grew up with, kids I went to high school with, teachers I taught with at the time, and people just all wanted to talk about it (the Red Sox).”

There was a buzz. Everywhere, not just in school.

— Mr. DeBenedictis

After winning four games in a row to clinch the series four games to three, and completing the historic comeback over the Yankees, the Red Sox went on to win the World Series in a four game sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals. With the entire school community along with the entire Boston fanbase behind them, the Red Sox finally broke the curse and won a World Series championship. When the Red Sox won, “It just felt like some kind of completion,” said Mr. DeBenedictis. 

Mr. d’Entremont reflected on the World Series run by saying: “It was nothing but fun and good memories- jumping up and down and having conversations with people we usually don’t talk to, about the Red Sox …It was a very special time in Red Sox history.”

Although there has been more success in Boston sports since the early 2000s, this World Series win for the Red Sox ended years of hopelessness. It put all the “Curse of the Bambino” talk to rest, and started an era of winning in Boston sports. Mr. DeBenedictis admitted that in today’s world “I think people just kind of expect Boston teams to win.” He also said, “It was so special in 2004 because it had been eighty-six years and it (losing) had been generational.”

The Champs Return

Twenty years after breaking the curse and winning the city’s first World Series since 1918, the 2004 team will be honored on Opening Day at Fenway Park. This ceremony brings Red Sox fans back to times of joy and celebration when their team finally won. Many people anticipate the return of the 2004 team to see those famous faces and celebrate their successes.

Mr. d’Entremont said he could not wait for the 2004 team to be honored on Opening Day: “That’s going to be so fun. To see everybody once again coming back- it’s been twenty years already I can’t even believe it.” Mr. DeBenedictis, like many Red Sox fans, also could not believe it has already been twenty years since the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, and they look forward to honoring that happy time.

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