BOSTON RED SOX 2004 WORLD SERIES
Review by Michael Jacobson
2004 World Champion Boston Red Sox
Audio: Dolby Stereo
Video: Full Frame 1.33:1
Features: See Review
Length: 2110 Minutes
Release Date: July 26, 2005
"How many times can you
honestly say you have a chance to shock the world?"
It just so happened that in the midst of a particularly
ugly election year, where it seemed like John Kerry and Ted Kennedy were staring
us down at every turn, along came the Boston Red Sox and their historic
championship season. They reminded
us at a particularly low point that something could indeed come from the
state of Massachusetts to make us feel proud to be Americans.
Let's face it...if you're a tried and true baseball fan,
you could never help but have a soft spot in your heart for the Red Sox and the
Cubs, even if they weren't your favorite team.
For the Bosox, it was all about the curse of the Bambino.
Babe Ruth got traded from them to the New York Yankees in the teens, and
the Sox never managed to win a World Series again.
But all that changed in 2004 when the Sox put the curse to
bed once and for all. It was a year
that saw them sweep the Angels in the Division Series, and sweep the Cardinals
in the World Series. But the real
drama came with their unprecedented victory over their hated rivals the Yankees
in the ALCS. The Red Sox of '04
were a never-say-die team, and they proved it by going on to do what no team had
ever done in the history of post season baseball.
All of this and more is captured in A&E's ultimate gift
to baseball fans. The Boston Red
Sox 2004 World Series Collector's Edition is a power-packed TWELVE disc
collection that captured every moment of suspense, every moment of triumph, and
every moment that made the Red Sox the first great champions of the new
millennium. Eleven classic games
are presented here in their entirety: the
dramatic seven games of the ALCS, the finishing four World Series games against
the Cardinals, plus a bonus disc that includes among other things the best
selling World Series 2004 film. That's
a lot of baseball...but it's a lot of great baseball. Just the ALCS alone is worth the price of the set...it was a
series where the Sox made history time and time again in some of the most
exciting games any fan could ever remember.
The curse was certainly on all baseball fans' minds when
the Yankees took a commanding 3 games to none lead over the Sox and stood within
one victory of advancing to the big show. No
team had ever come back from such a deficit to win a series.
The Sox had their backs to the proverbial wall, but that was when they
came out swinging with their heavy lumber.
Who could ever forget Game 4...down in the ninth and facing
Mariano Rivera, the Yankees' feared closer, the Sox managed to tie it up and
send it into extra innings. Then
David Ortiz delivered the walk-off home run in the 12th to insure the Sox would
play again. It was the longest game
in ALCS history...but for the Yankees, the next game would seem even longer.
Already the Sox had challenged history and won...26 times
in baseball history had a team fallen behind 3-0 in a best-of-seven series, and
only 6 times had the team managed to win the fourth game to avoid a sweep.
And they were ready to prove they were no fluke...in Game 5, David Ortiz
was the hero again, tying the game for the Sox in the eighth and then connecting
for the game winning RBI in the 14th inning (after fouling off six consecutive
pitches from Esteban Loaiza), helping to eradicate the mark the teams had JUST set
for longest ALCS game ever.
Game 6 saw the series return to New York, and the Sox
handed the ball to their ace Curt Schilling, who delivered a show-stopping
performance despite an injured tendon and a bloody sock.
That, coupled with Mark Bellhorn's three run dinger, and the Sox made
history for the third consecutive night. No
team had ever come back from 3-0 to force a Game 7.
And Game 7 left no doubt as to whose year it was going to
be. The Sox finished their
unprecedented comeback with a 10-3 rout of the reeling Yankees, thanks to a pair
of home runs from bearded perennial fan fave Johnny Damon (one of them a grand
It was one of those moments when you knew you were watching
history. As a 35 year old baseball
fan, I know I'd never seen the like before...but fans much older than me had
never seen it, either. And like the
1980 United States hockey team who were always remembered more for their
incredible victory over the Soviet Union that brought them to the finals rather
than their gold winning match, the 2004 Boston Red Sox would always be
remembered for doing what no other team had ever done before.
The fact that they went on to win the World Series in a quick four-game
sweep of the Cardinals was almost anti-climactic. The Sox had already claimed the prize; it was just a matter
of crossing the finish line and claiming it.
The curse was at long last a thing of the past.
No longer was the Red Sox fans' cry "Wait til next year!", but
I've never seen such a complete sports package assembled in
one DVD set as this. But the more I
look back on the Sox' historic year, it was the only way.
That ALCS was just too incredible...you couldn't make a highlight reel
out of those 7 games; they were all highlights.
Any baseball fan will love reliving those magic moments.
And for the many tried and true Red Sox fans who stuck with
their team through years and years of heartaches, the 4 game World Series sweep
will be something to relive over and over for the rest of their lives.
Video *** 1/2
We're looking of course at full frame video presentations
originally shot for TV, so you might expect some limitations here and there.
The good news is despite the inherent problems with such source material,
A&E still managed to knock one out with this good look transfer that
captures all the colors of the game with integrity and clarity...very little
undue grain or noticeable compression, despite the length of some of the games!
The stereo mixes offer some good dynamic range...check out
the crowd noises in the big comeback games to really experience it.
The play-by-play dialogue sounds fine throughout, and there's no apparent
noises to interfere with the experience.
Ho-hum...eleven discs' worth of action-packed baseball not
enough to curb your appetite? Take
a look at the bonus twelfth disc to send your love for the Sox into extra
For starters, you get the official 2004 World Series Film, a nicely put-together highlight movie of most of the things you've just seen in rapid-fire motion. Then there are clips of celebrity fans, the ACLS Game 7 celebration, the World Series celebration, the shocking day Johnny Damon shaved his beard, looks and interviews at some of the players who became bona-fide superstars in 2004, some chances to listen in on them during game situations, the championship ring and banner ceremony, and much more...basically, everything you need to really feel like a complete part of the championship run.
One aspect that's extra nice is the menu screens, which allows you to navigate each game inning by inning. Very cool, because there are definitely some ones you'll want to watch over and over again!