July 24, 2004. A Saturday afternoon at Fenway. After a rain delay, the Red Sox took the field and quickly went down 3-0 to a stacked, AL East-leading Yankees team. Then, something wonderful happened.
Like me, you probably remember the series of events: Bronson Arroyo plunks Alex Rodriguez, A-Rod starts jawing at Arroyo, Jason Varitek steps in to protect his pitcher, A-Rod keeps jawing, Tek fills A-Rod’s face with his catcher’s mitt, benches clear, and the moment becomes an instant classic.
Little did we know at the time, but that iconic moment would become what some would argue was the turning point in the season that would see the Sox overcome a 3-0 deficit to beat the Yankees in the ALCS, then go on to win their first World Series in 86 years.
So let’s relive and remember and revel in one of the all-time great moments in Boston sports.