Jason Varitek and Alex Rodriguez’s brawl squares off against Jon Lester’s no-hitter in the first round of Boston’s Greatest Sports Moment tournament.
6. Jason Varitek, Alex Rodriguez Fenway brawlThis moment was the first time the Yankees got socked in the mouth by the Red Sox in 2004, but it certainly wasn’t the last. On July 24, Jason Varitek gladly welcomed Alex Rodriguez to the fiercest rivalry in baseball. After getting hit by a Bronson Arroyo pitch in the top of the third inning, A-Rod began jawing at the pitcher. Varitek, the consummate captain, took exception and began to throw some R-rated words A-Rod’s way. Varitek then punched Rodriguez in the face with his mitt, promptly starting a benches-clearing brawl. Both players were ejected, but Varitek and the Red Sox got the last laugh, winning the game 11-10. They also got the last laugh that October, famously coming back from down three games to none to beat the Yankees in the AL championship series.
11. Jon Lester no-hits the RoyalsCertain moments in sports transcend the game. Jon Lester’s comeback to baseball from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, culminating with his no-hitter against the Kansas City Royals, is one of those moments. Lester’s journey up to that point had already been remarkable. He returned to the big leagues in July of 2007, less than a year after he received his initial diagnosis. Then, in October of that year, he was the winning pitcher in Boston’s Game 4 World Series clincher against Colorado — a mere 10 months after he had concluded cancer treatment. But his May 19, 2008, performance just may trump them all. When Lester pumped his fist after striking out Alberto Callaspo to end the game — his ninth strikeout of the outing – the blossoming ace solidified that his incredible, courageous comeback was complete.
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