With his Boston teammates surrounding him in the visitor’s clubhouse at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, the heroic right-hander raised a bottle of champagne with a toast boldly proclaiming the ’04 Sox the “greatest Red Sox team ever!”
But was Schilling right?
Over the course of more than a century, there have been plenty of tremendous Red Sox (and Boston Americans) teams. Seven World Series championships. Twelve pennants. Twenty playoff appearances.
While an 86-year drought between 1918 and 2004 represented of struggles for the Red Sox, the franchise has still had its share of terrific teams, oftentimes coming oh so close to becoming truly historic. The Impossible Dream of 1967. Coming oh-so-close in 1978 before a lazy fly ball found its way over the Green Monster. And surely no one will ever forget how close Boston was in 1986.
Seasons frequently ended in heartrbeak, but much of that heartbreak was built on the hope that “this year” would be “the year,” and you don’t get that kind of hope without a really, really good team on the field.
In the coming weeks, NESN.com will team up with WhatIfSports.com to determine the greatest Red Sox team of all time.
With the help of NESN.com readers, 16 of the best Red Sox teams ever will square off in a 16-team elimination tournament.
WhatIfSports.com will use its simulation machine to simulate 1,0001 matchups for each showdown in the bracket until one team is crowned the champion. Each week, NESN.com and WhatIfSports.com will reveal the winners, all culminating with a best-of-seven final series to take place July 8-14.
Along the way, NESN.com will get your take on the greatest Red Sox teams of all time, with a look back at the best teams in franchise history.
Before a champion is crowned, the tournament field must be completed. You can click here to vote on which two teams will be added to the bracket. Voting closes on June 13, and the opening round results will then be revealed on June 20.