The slew of injuries incurred by the Boston Red Sox in 2010 cast a pretty dark shadow. However, there were moments that glimmered through, giving Red Sox Nation reason for hope well into the depths of September.
While there won't be any playoff moments to look back on, 2010 isn't a season to overlook and it wasn't devoid of special moments. Which one ranks atop your list?
On Opening Day we were treated to an event filled with hope for the upcoming season, and we even got a glimpse of the past. With Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight" blaring out the Fenway speakers, old friend Pedro Martinez walked out of the Green Monster to ground-shattering cheers. I don't know what was better about Opening Day, Pedro tossing the first pitch to Jason Varitek or 5-year-old Josh Sacco yelling "Screw 'em!" to the Yankees roster.
When he first stepped to the plate on April 20, most Red Sox fans were saying, "Darnell who?" After being called up from Triple-A Pawtucket earlier in the day, outfielder Darnell McDonald brought the Red Sox back to life against the Texas Rangers. After tying the game with a pinch-hit, two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth, McDonald returned to the plate in the ninth to smack a walk-off single that won the game. We haven't forgotten his name since.
Just over a month later, another unknown came up through the Red Sox system and became one of two players in MLB history to drive a grand slam on their first major league pitch. Daniel Nava said he didn't even realize what he had done before he was halfway around the bases, and said he was sprinting because there was so much adrenaline pumping through him. His moment was brief, but the 27-year-old's milestone moment will go down in history.
Let's forget for a moment that the night after Dustin Pedroia went 5-for-5 with three home runs in Colorado, a rogue foul tip rocketed off the top of his foot and ended his 2010 season. Pedroia's performance against the Rockies was as monumental as the mountains themselves. Simply put, it was a laser show like no other.
There's another guy on the Red Sox roster who "hits bombs" for a living, and he showed the world how he does just that at the 2010 All Star Game. Defeating Hanley Ramirez in the bonus round of the Home Run Derby, David Ortiz showered the outfield seats with 32 home runs. Big Papi reminded us that he still knows how to swing a bat, and proved all the critics from April and May very wrong.
It only seems fitting that this post comes a day after "Thanks, Mike" Night at Fenway Park. While Mike Lowell didn't have the easiest 2010, his return to the lineup after an injury and a potential trade to the Yankees was truly incredible. With the fans still standing in ovation from his walk-up, Lowell smacked the first pitch he saw into the Green Monster seats. Take that trade rumors.
Or was it another moment in the 2010 season that gave you chills? A moment on a bigger scale, like the young players stepping up or Terry Francona faced with the daunting task of adjusting his lineup card every single night.
What 2010 Red Sox moment meant the most to you this season?
Share your thoughts below.
Friday, Oct. 1: Will Red Sox Nation watch any playoff baseball this season?