Bill Mueller in 2005. Googie man at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
Forget Clark Kent. Bill Mueller was the mild-mannered surprise for the 2004 Red Sox.
Winner of a league batting title that year, he pounded the rival Cardinals for six hits in the World Series.
Small wonder the St. Louis-area native was hired by the Cardinals as a 2015 coach.
The strong right arm of Jim Lonborg sent the Sox to the 1967 World Series. By Boston Red Sox / MLB (ebay.com, front of photo, back of photo) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
In Out of Left Field, Brandon saw many connections between his father’s past and his present.
Brandon’s 2004 Red Sox faced the Cardinals in the World Series that year, just like in 1967.
Relive the final step that “Impossible Dream” team took to the ’67 Fall Classic here:
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This “team picture” of the 2004 World Series champs was taken during a 2005 congratulatory ceremony at the White House. By Paul Morse [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
One rare high point of the 2014 season was Fenway’s 10-year reunion of the 2004 champs.
See how the “Idiots” relived that glory.
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Known by a variation of his middle name ‘Trotman,’ trotting was something this gung-ho Dirt Dog didn’t do. By Carl Fredrickson (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
He sported a Mohawk haircut. Since we often sat in the outfield, he was the player we watched close up.
The media credited him as the lead “Dirt Dog” in 2004, a brand of player willing to get dirty to win. Outfielder Trot Nixon missed part of that championship season due to injuries, but he made his presence known in the decisive game of the World Series.
In 2014, Nixon remembered what that epic year meant to him.
A clean-shaven Johnny Damon stared down an umpire in a 2005 spring training game. By Googie man on en.wikipedia (From en.wikipedia; description page is (was) here) [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
Out of Left Field notes how quickly the sports world labeled the 2004 Red Sox “a bunch of idiots.”
More forget that Boston stalwart Johnny Damon created the title as a badge of honor for his team.
See how Damon explained the term in his 2005 Idiot book:
In Out of Left Field, Brandon listened to him. Everyone did. Then, and now, he’s the voice of the Red Sox.
In fact, Joe Castiglione was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame in 2014.
Here’s a taste of what it’s like to share the broadcast booth with the man who asked Red Sox fans “Can you believe it?” after Boston’s 2004 World Series championship:
No April fooling about this.
To celebrate the coming of the 2015 baseball season, my Out of Left Field is on sale through April 15. The paperback has a special discount price only at the Untreed Reads publisher website.
Meanwhile, the e-book is discounted 30 percent at the publisher e-store or OmniLit.com, DriveThruFiction.com, Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Apple, and Kobo.
Speaking of “Out of Left Field,” did you know that one of the 2004 championship Red Sox players got sued a year later – by his own team?
Just in time for Halloween, remember one of the scariest moments of Boston’s 2004 season (the dramatic backdrop of Out of Left Field).
Here’s the post-season tale of Curt “Bloody Sock” Schilling!
In Out of Left Field, Brandon loved the 2004 Red Sox. Who would he support in this Sox-less World Series: Royals or Giants? For me…
That’s easy. Royals, for sure. First, like the Sox, they’ve had a long drought since their last Series (though not as long as the Sox’s 86-year drought). Second, they succeeded in spite of being the wild card. Third, the Royals team shows terrific chemistry and an ability to play small ball and win. And finally: they’re in the American League! But others may disagree.
Who would you support, Boston fans?