As Red Sox closer Jonathon Papelbon blew the 2-2 fastball past the Colorado Rockies hitter, there was a roar of excitement on the Phillips Academy campus, but only momentarily. Papelbon came in the game to complete his third save of the World Series, yet another multi-inning save to give the Red Sox their second World Series championship in just four years. After this victory, however, the lack of appreciation and celebration for this unbelievable team and its unbelievable season was obvious. Everyone remembers 2004, a winter full of partying for the curse finally being reversed after 86 heartbreaking years. Understandably, the 2004 championship deserved the celebration it received. But this 2007 team deserves much more than what it is getting. The 2007 playoffs provided the most dominating performances any fan could ask of his or her team. With the combination of cunning managing by Terry Francona, stellar pitching by aces Josh Beckett and Papelbon and successful hitting from Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz and J.D. Drew. I think it would be very difficult to find anyone on this roster who didn’t step up in a major way during the postseason. Lugo and Drew both picked up their play significantly from their lackluster regular season performances. When the Sox needed a big hit in the seventh inning of game four of the World Series, Bobby Kielty drilled a solo shot over the left field wall, providing the game-winning run on the only pitch Kielty saw in the entire World Series. The Red Sox is one of the few professional sports teams that I can confidently say does not play for individual accomplishments or bigger contracts. Instead, the members of the team play for each other. I understand this is not the first World Series win for our Boston Red Sox in 86 years, but we certainly cannot take it for granted. Who knows if our beloved team will suffer through another 86-year championship drought? How can we not be in constant celebration of a team that was in first place since late April in such a ferocious division? Not only that, the team showed the confidence and pride to hold off the Evil Empire despite an incredible late surge by the Yanks. People want to say that we did not win as many games in dramatic fashion this year. But what about the Mother’s Day miracle? Our resilient Sox scored six runs in the ninth inning to win the ballgame over the Orioles. How about Manny Ramirez’s walk-off shot over the Green Monster in Game Two of the ALDS to life the Sox to a 6-3 victory over the pesky Angels? Personally, I could feel a taste of the 2004 team from the team’s amazing comeback against the Indians in the ALCS– we came back from being down three games to one. Just like 2004, it was not just one person who carried the team on his back. Surely Beckett’s Cy Young-worthy performance in game five cannot be overlooked. But Curt Schilling and Matsuzaka’s performances deserve praise. Also in this comeback, the future of the Sox proved to be in competent hands as young players such as Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury sparked the team with their constant energy and phenomenal play. I understand this is not the team with Kevin Millar, not the championship where we went through New York to get to the World Series, and Schilling did not have a bloody sock. In reality, however, that World Series was for all of our parents, who went through all the heartbreaking moments from the previous years such as Buckner’s infamous through-the-legs groundball, and Dent’s walk off homerun. This World Series was our generation’s team. So savor this moment Red Sox Nation in Andover, and remember all the moments of this truly one-of-a-kind team.
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