In one corner, you have the best team in baseball. In the other corner, you have the hottest team in baseball.
Welcome to the 2007 World Series.
The Boston Red Sox survived a hellacious seven-game American Championship Series against the Cleveland Indians to advance to their second Fall Classic in four years. Awaiting them? The National League champion Colorado Rockies, who had won 20 of their last 21 games, including a thrilling victory in a Game No. 163 before sweeping through the first two rounds of the postseason.
But a lengthy layoff and an elite Boston team ended Colorado’s run, as the Sox ultimately would sweep away the Rox en route to another world title.
Game 1 of the World Series — a 13-1 dismantling by the Red Sox — can be seen Tuesday night on NESN at 8 p.m. ET. Here are a few things you might have forgotten about that game.
1. Jeff Francis gets to know Dustin Pedroia
Pedroia never lacks confidence, but he had to be feeling extra good entering Game 1 of the World Series. Coming off an incredible Game 7 performance against the Indians, the 2007 AL Rookie of the Year picked up right where he left off. On just the second pitch of the bottom of the first inning, Pedroia walloped a Francis pitch deep into the Boston night for a leadoff home run that not only set the tone for the game but for the entire series.
The ball just barely cleared the Green Monster, which makes this anecdote from a 2011 Sports Illustrated profile of Pedroia even funnier.
“Before Game 3 of that Series, the Red Sox were walking into Coors Field when a security guard sized up Pedroia, took him for an intruder rather than a ballplayer, and insisted that he produce I.D. Pedroia didn’t break stride. Recalling the bomb he hit with his first Series swing, he barked, ‘I’m the guy who took Jeff Francis onto the Mass Pike. How’s that?'”
2. Legend status solidified
Josh Beckett’s Red Sox career ended in pretty much the worst possible way, and that sometimes overshadows just how good he was in 2007. The right-hander was on the mound for Game 1 and was simply sensational. Beckett cruised through seven easy innings, allowing just one run on six hits while striking out nine as the Boston offense battered the Rockies’ pitching staff. The start would be Beckett’s final postseason start of 2007. The Red Sox won all four of his starts, as the hard-throwing righty allowed just four runs in his 30 innings of work.
3. Total domination
It was just a bludgeoning from start to finish. The Red Sox, as pointed out by The Boston Globe the following day, set or tied numerous records with the Game 1 beatdown. The 12-run win was the largest margin of victory in a World Series opener. The 13 runs were the most scored by a team in a Fall Classic opener. Game 1 marked three straight games they scored 10 or more runs, also a record. Dating back to Game 5 of the ALCS, the Sox outscored their opponents 43-6 over the course of four games.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images