If you need proof that the Major League Baseball playoffs have been going on for far too long, consider this: The 2010 World Series between the Texas Rangers and the San Francisco Giants kicks off tonight (Wednesday, October 27), but on this day in 2004, the Boston Red Sox beat the St. Louis Cardinals by a score of 3-0 to win the World Series for the first time since 1918.
Whether you liked the Red Sox or not (and in 2004, plenty of people didn't), that particular run through the playoffs was remarkable and memorable, mostly because of the incredible seven game series between the Red Sox and the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series. Through the first three games of the series, the Yankees won all three in convincing fashion (including a 19-8 drubbing in game three) and seemed like a lock to move on to the World Series (especially considering no baseball team had ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in a seven game series). But the Red Sox used a lot of late heroics in extra-inning games and eventually bested their hated rivals from the Bronx in jaw-dropping fashion.
Though it was historic because of the Red Sox victory, the actual World Series in 2004 was pretty flat. With the momentum from the ALCS fueling them, the Sox torched the Cardinals with stellar pitching (after an 11-9 shootout in the first game, the Cards — one of the most powerful offensive squads in baseball in 2004 — could only scrape together three runs over the remaining three games) and clutch hitting from unlikely heroes like Bill Mueller and Mark Bellhorn. In a cosmic twist, the final game of the series took place under a lunar eclipse, which threw a super-spooky red light on Busch Stadium in St. Louis. So what better way than to commemorate the Red Sox' World Series triumph than with Rancid's "Red Hot Moon"?