In 2004, the Red Sox unveiled the Budweiser Right Field Roof Deck and dedicated a statue of legend Ted Williams outside nearby Gate B. The Red Sox started the 2004 season well but ran into a midseason funk. However, a raucous July 24 game against the Yankees and a bold four-team deal that traded Nomar Garciaparra to the Cubs seemed to light a fire under the team and they ran away with the Wild Card. After defeating the Angels in the ALDS, the Red Sox fell behind three games to none in the ALCS against the Yankees. In Game Four at Fenway Park, Boston started a comeback for the ages and won their next eight straight games to capture the franchise's first World Series title in 86 years. Fenway Park also hosted a party for the Democratic Governors Association during the Democratic National Convention in July and the Farrelly brothers filmed scenes for their movie "Fever Pitch" at the ballpark during the last two months of the regular season, before returning to film in October after rewriting their script due to the historic World Series Championship that few of their fellow Red Sox fans saw coming.
Record: 98-64, 2nd in American League East (Wild Card)
Manager: Terry J. Francona
Postseason: Won World Series
The Red Sox added Curt Schilling and Keith Foulke over the offseason and when the Yankees acquired Alex Rodriguez, the Boston/New York rivalry reached a new level. Spring training began with great anticipation but Nomar Garciaparra hit the disabled list with a right Achilles injury on March 31 and wouldn't play until June 9.
The Red Sox started the season well and led the division by 2½ games at the end of April. However, the team slumbered over the next two and a half months and played .500 baseball through most of July.
Needing some type of spark after the doldrums of the previous several weeks, a July 24 game between the Red Sox and Yankees provided a sudden catalyst for the team. Jason Varitek and Alex Rodriguez skirmished in the early going of this Saturday afternoon game and Bill Mueller hit a walk-off, three-run homer off Yankees' closer Mariano Rivera to further electrify the Fenway crowd.
Seven days later, in a trade-deadline deal, the Red Sox acquired Orlando Cabrera and Doug Mientkiewicz in a bold four-team swap that sent fan-favorite Nomar Garciaparra to the Cubs. In a separate trade, Dave Roberts was snagged from the Dodgers.
From August 16 to September 3 the Red Sox went 16-1 and ran away with the Wild Card to earn their second consecutive postseason appearance. Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz combined for 84 home runs and 269 RBIs, while Schilling earned 21 victories. He was one of five Boston pitchers with ten or more wins.
The Red Sox swept Anaheim in the ALDS and ended the series on an Ortiz walk-off home run at Fenway Park. Boston advanced to the ALCS for a rematch with the Yankees but dropped the first two games in New York. Compounding matters was an ankle injury suffered by Schilling in the ALDS. The Red Sox returned to Fenway Park and were blown out in Game Three 19-8. The odds seemed stacked against any type of Boston comeback.
The Yankees led Game Four by a run heading into the top of the ninth but Kevin Millar drew a walk off Mariano Rivera to start the inning and pinch runner Dave Roberts came in to take his place at first base. With the next batter, Bill Mueller, at the plate, Roberts stole second base with perhaps the most famous sprint in team history. Two pitches later, Mueller drove in Roberts with a game-tying single and David Ortiz hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 12th.
Rivera blew another save in Game Five and Ortiz was the hero again with a walk-off single in the bottom of the 14th inning. The ALCS returned to New York for Game Six, which the Red Sox won thanks to a gutsy effort by Curt Schilling, who pitched through his ankle injury. With momentum on their side the Red Sox closed out the historic comeback and sealed the pennant with a resounding 10-3 victory over New York in Game Seven.
The Red Sox moved on to the World Series to face the NL Champion Cardinals. Boston took the first two games at Fenway Park then headed to St. Louis where Pedro Martinez won Game Three. Derek Lowe took the ball in Game Four and threw seven scoreless innings after being staked to an early 3-0 lead. Foulke came on to record the final three outs, clinching Boston's first title in 86 years. After nearly nine decades of waiting it was time to celebrate and an estimated 3,000,000 people jammed the streets of Boston for the 2004 World Series Victory Parade to see the Duck Tour Boats carry the World Champions.
In 2004, the Red Sox created a new Fenway Park neighborhood, the Budweiser Right Field Roof Deck. Built on top of the original 1934 roof in right field, which was reinforced as part of the project, the new area featured home plate shaped tables, sitting four people each. Along with the 192 new seats, the additional space created room for 250 standing room patrons. New amenities included unique menu items, in-seat service, new restrooms and an open-air bar, which was made from parts of the bowling alley taken out of the basement of the Jeano Building. A new cargo-sized elevator was installed to access all levels of the ballpark in right field, and the Jimmy Fund sign, which had stood on the roof for decades, was taken down and replaced with an emblem on the Green Monster.
While the Jimmy Fund sign moved to the left field wall, a new symbol of the club's longtime affiliation with the non-profit organization was unveiled in the right-field area. On April 16, 2004, a statue of Ted Williams placing a hat on the head of a young Jimmy Fund patient was unveiled outside of Gate B.
In addition to constructing the Right Field Roof in 2004, the team followed the success of the Big Concourse and refurbished the Third Base Concourse with new restrooms, concessions and space. Abutting the concourse, the room formerly used as the Lansdowne Shop was renovated to create the Crown Royal Club (now the Absolut Club), a premium area to provide new amenities for Dugout Seat holders. Also, a few new Dugout Seat locations were created when new seating was constructed down the right-field line, altering Canvas Alley in the process.
Jimmy Buffett brought Margaritaville to Fenway Park with a couple of concerts in September 2004. The shows, which were part of Buffett's "License to Chill Tour," included several Buffett classics, in addition to renditions of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" and Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline." Earlier in the summer, Fenway Park opened it's gates during the Democratic National Convention in Boston, including for a 2,000 person party hosted by the Democratic Governors Association. During the final two months of the regular season, scenes from the Farrelly brothers movie "Fever Pitch" were filmed at Fenway Park during games, on non-game days and over multiple overnight shoots. The film crew returned in October after some of the movie's scenes were rewritten and filmed again at Fenway Park following the team's World Series victory in the fall.
Also of note in 2004 was the creation of Fenway Sports Group, a subsidiary of Red Sox ownership that would play an instrumental role in bringing future events to Fenway Park like the January 2010 college hockey doubleheader.
|2004 Non-Baseball Events At Fenway Park|
|May 9||Mother's Day Walk|
|June 20||Father's Day Walk|
|June 27||Red Sox Foundation's Picnic in the Park|
|July 25-27||Democratic National Convention Events|
|Aug, Sep. & Oct.||Filming of "Fever Pitch"|
|Sept. 10-12||Jimmy Buffett Concerts|
|December 11||Christmas at Fenway|