Early in 2004, two writers and Red Sox fans, Stewart O'Nan and Stephen King, decided to chronicle the upcoming season, one of the most hotly anticipated in baseball history. They would sit together at Fenway. They would exchange emails. They would write about the games. And, as it happened, they would witness the greatest comeback ever in sports, and the first Red Sox championship in eighty-six years, as the team put '86 behind them and eighty-sixed the Curse.
A-Rod. Schilling. Sheffield. Foulke. The hot stove league was smoking. In April, the Sox took six of seven from New York Yankees. Youkilis was the Greek God of Walks. Local boy Mark Bellhorn found his bat. June was a disaster. Then Nomar went to Chicago, Varitek shoved A-Rod, Billy Mueller proved to be a Yankee killer, and this team never looked back, logging an astounding August and a solid September to claim the wild card. In the playoffs they killed the Angels, then ran into those damn Yankees. Who saved the Pennant race? David Ortiz. Who hit the only grand slam? Johnny Damon. Who's your daddy? Papi is. Down three games to none, down to their last three outs, the Red Sox rose from the dead to make history. Nothing left to do but sweep up. What began as a Sox-filled summer like any other is now a fan's notes for the ages.