Red Sox End 86-Year World Series Title Drought, Make Epic ALCS Comeback at Fenway Park in 2004

Editor’s note: Fenway Park opened on April 20, 1912. NESN.com will be celebrating Fenway’s 100-year anniversary with unique content from now until April 20, 2012.

For the first time in 86 years, Fenway Park became the home of the World Series champions following the Red Sox' incredible run to a championship in 2004.

Fenway underwent more transition prior to the season with the debut of the Budweiser Right Field Roof Deck, adding another 197 seats to the park. The team also unveiled a statue of Hall of Famer Ted Williams outside Gate B of the venue.

The Sox began 2004 strong, again getting great production from their offense and pitching with the added depth of Curt Schilling, who was acquired in the offseason. As Boston's winning ways began to slow in June and July, general manager Theo Epstein made the bold decision to trade superstar shortstop Nomar Garciaparra to the Cubs in order to acquire Orlando Cabrera and Doug Mientkiewicz, as well as Dave Roberts in a separate deal.

With a reshuffled lineup, the Sox caught fire down the stretch and won the American League wild card for the second consecutive season. In the ALDS, the Sox wasted little time in dispatching the Anaheim Angels, sweeping the AL West champions in three games. The sweep set up a rematch with the Yankees in the American League Championship Series, one year after New York defeated Boston in an epic 2003 ALCS.

It appeared as though misery was again following the Red Sox as the Yankees jumped to a 3-0 series lead in dominating fashion. But thanks to numerous heroic efforts from the likes of Roberts, Schilling, David Ortiz, Johnny Damon, Todd Walker and others, Boston rallied to take the next three games and force a deciding seventh game at Yankee Stadium. Refusing to let heartbreak destroy their championship aspirations, the Sox took Game 7 with a convincing 10-3 victory, sending the team to its first World Series since 1986 and becoming the first team in MLB history to erase a 3-0 series deficit.

The Fall Classic proved to be a mismatch as the red-hot Red Sox embarrassed the NL champion Cardinals, never allowing them to hold a lead at any point in the series. On Oct. 27, beneath a full moon at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, the Red Sox finally ended their championship drought by winning the World Series in a four-game sweep, the team's eighth-consecutive win dating back to the ALCS comeback.

Fenway Park remained busy with activity throughout the year, including hosting a party for the Democratic Governors Association during the Democratic National Convention held in Boston in July. In addition, scenes for the movie "Fever Pitch" were filmed at the park during the summer. The movie's ending had to be rewritten during filming when the Sox made their historic run to the title.

For more information on Fenway Park, visit Fenway Park 100.

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