The Red Sox just won their fourth title in 14 years. Where does that title rank among the team’s previous ones?
After a whirlwind of a 2018 season in which they won a franchise-record 108 games, the Boston Red Sox capped it off in the best way possible: winning their ninth championship by defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series.
Though it was the ninth title in franchise history, it was the fourth championship for the Red Sox in the 21st century. Previously, they had not won a World Series since 1918, known as the infamous “Curse of the Bambino.”
But after four championships in a span of 14 years, it’s safe to say that the Boston baseball curse has long been lifted. Red Sox fans know nothing but bliss these days.
And thus, it begs the question: where do these four championships rank? Which one was the absolute sweetest? Obviously, any World Series victory is sweet. But some have a little more meaning than others.
Let’s examine why that is:
2007 Boston Red Sox
def. Colorado Rockies, 4-0
- Game 1: Rockies 1, Red Sox 13
- Game 2: Rockies 1, Red Sox 2
- Game 3: Red Sox 10, Rockies 5
- Game 4: Red Sox 4, Rockies 3
Series MVP: Mike Lowell, Third Baseman
Fun Fact: There was an entire controversy surrounding ticket sales for the World Series, which ultimately involved an FBI investigation. Not only was this an instance where ticket bots were attempting to buy up tickets for resale, but Red Sox fans found that they could purchase tickets to games in Denver and fly out to Coors Field for cheaper than it would be to see the game at Fenway.
The 2007 World Series was an enjoyable time. The Red Sox came back from down 3-1 in the ALCS to defeat the Cleveland Indians, and then they swept the Colorado Rockies in the World Series. For the fans, it was basically just one big party. But as far as meaning goes, this one probably had the least.
There was no baggage or anything that needed to be shed at this point. For the Red Sox, it was just another regular season. For the fans, they just got to finally enjoy a postseason without worrying about being “cursed.”
2013 Boston Red Sox
def. St. Louis Cardinals, 4-2
- Game 1: Cardinals 1, Red Sox 8
- Game 2: Cardinals 4, Red Sox 2
- Game 3: Red Sox 4, Cardinals 5
- Game 4: Red Sox 4, Cardinals 2
- Game 5: Red Sox 3, Cardinals 1
- Game 6: Cardinals 1, Red Sox 6
Series MVP: David Ortiz, Designated Hitter/ First Baseman
Fun Fact: While the 2004 team is remembered for iconically breaking the Curse of the Bambino, this 2013 team broke another drought. It was the first time since 1918 that the Red Sox clinched the World Series at Fenway, ending a 95-year streak and in a way tying a bow on any of the old superstitions Red Sox fans had been carrying with them for generations. Coincidentally, both the Curse of the Bambino and the first home World Series win came against the St. Louis Cardinals.
In contrast to 2007, the 2013 season actually had a significant amount of meaning not just for the team and the fans, but for the entire city. The 2013 Boston Marathon bombing took place just weeks into the Red Sox season, and it was an absolutely devastating event for this city.
While Bostonians mourned the tragedy, the Red Sox suddenly took off and cruised all the way to the playoffs — just one year after finishing in last place — and then defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in six games. Winning the World Series brought an entire city together that was trying to recover from something horrific, and the Red Sox were able to bring a little bit of happiness to the city in the midst of a dark time.
2018 Boston Red Sox
def. Los Angeles Dodgers, 4-1
- Game 1: Dodgers 4, Red Sox 8
- Game 2: Dodgers 2, Red Sox 4
- Game 3: Red Sox 2, Dodgers 3 (18 inning game)
- Game 4: Red Sox 9, Dodgers 6
- Game 5: Red Sox 5, Dodgers 1
Series MVP: Steve Pearce, First Baseman/Outfielder
Fun Fact: Boston didn’t face an elimination game its entire postseason run, despite not being overwhelming favorites in any of its three series. The Red Sox also became the second team since the 1998 New York Yankees to win 108 or more games and win the World Series.
There was just something really special about 2018. The New York Yankees were supposed to be the best team in baseball after adding Giancarlo Stanton to their already stacked lineup. The Red Sox responded by added J.D. Martinez, and they shocked the world by winning 108 games and blowing the Yankees out of the division race.
In the postseason, the Red Sox then eliminated the Yankees, then eliminated the defending world champion Astros, and then defeated Manny Machado’s new team, the Dodgers, in the World Series. Everything just came together perfectly in 2018, and it meant a lot to see this team prove everybody wrong.
And defeating their arch rival, the defending champions, and Machado’s team all in the same postseason made the ride all the more enjoyable.
2004 Boston Red Sox
def. St. Louis Cardinals, 4-0
- Game 1: Cardinals 9, Red Sox 11
- Game 2: Cardinals 2, Red Sox 6
- Game 3: Red Sox 4, Cardinals 1
- Game 4: Red Sox 3, Cardinals 0
Series MVP: Manny Ramirez/Outfielder
Fun Fact: Isn’t this one obvious? It seems so to baseball fans who were alive at the time, but we’re reaching enough distance — and number of World Series wins — that it needs to stated that this victory ended the Curse of the Bambino. In 1920, the Red Sox traded a young player named Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees only to watch him become one of the games most legendary icons. Between the year of the trade and 2004, Boston did not win a single World Series title.
No matter how many championships the city of Boston wins in the future, no team will ever mean more a fan base than the 2004 Red Sox. They were “cursed” for 86 years. Every single year, they couldn’t beat the Yankees. New York had won 26 World Series titles since Boston won its last. Every year, it was just the same old story.
The Red Sox came back from down three-games-to-none to the Yankees in the ALCS — the only time in baseball a team has ever accomplished that — to reverse the fortunes of each franchise, and then they swept the Cardinals in the World Series to officially break the curse.
In my opinion, it was the greatest, most incredible sports story of all time. For Red Sox fans, no ride will ever come close topping that one.