Boston’s World Series win caps Telegraph’s list of top local stories of 2004
You watched it unfold on television - bleary-eyed and suspended in disbelief night after October night: each step in the remarkable comeback against the hated New York Yankees and the anticlimactic sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals. Still, let us remind you of what may be the most stupendous achievement in New England since a merry band of anti-tax brothers drove out King George’s Redcoats: The Boston Red Sox won the World Series. Not surprisingly, this achievement ranked as the top Telegraph story of 2004, the most compelling news in a newsworthy year. In a year in which local men and women fought in Iraq, voters backed Democrats for governor and president, a Nashua native became the state’s first female attorney general and our neighboring Bay State ushered in a landmark same-sex marriage law, the Red Sox clinched this paper’s top honor. Read it again: The Boston Red Sox won the World Series, the team’s first hardball title since a young Babe Ruth made Fenway Park just one of his many playgrounds. The victory repaired the heavily damaged collective psyche of Sox fans, served as perfect small-talk fodder for even the most disconnected of backers and reminded millions that perseverance, focus and fun can be applied to life and pay some sweet dividends. It provided joy for the young - who now know only the winning ways - and the old, who for decades knew only heartbreak. Nashua resident Betty Jordan, for one, no longer has to recite with conviction, “Wait ’til next year.” Jordan, who turns 102 years old today, saw her heroes, Yaz and Nomar among them, fall short. She threw caution to the wind once again and fell in love with the shaggy-haired, sophomoric 2004 club, particularly the modern caveman Johnny Damon. She believed - and had her faith rewarded. But let us not forget other champions of 2004. The New England Patriots chalked up their second super victory in three years. The Pats defeated the Carolina Panthers 32-29 on Feb. 1, Super Bowl Sunday, on a 41-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri - the man with the golden foot. And no surprise here, the team-oriented Patriots remain in the hunt this season after stringing together more consecutive wins than any other professional football team in U.S. history. It was a good year to be a sports fan in New England.