(1872 - 2011)
1872 The Boston Red Stockings, (currently Atlanta Braves), a charter member of the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players would win the National Associations championship from years 1872-1875. The original Boston Red Stockings team and its successors can lay claim to being the oldest continuously playing team in American professional sports. (The only other team that has been organized as long, the Chicago Cubs, did not play for the two years following the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.) Two young players hired away from the Forest City club of Rockford, Illinois, turned out to be the biggest stars during the NAPBBP years: pitcher Al Spalding (founder of Spalding sporting goods) and second baseman Ross Barnes. Led by the Wrightbrothers, Barnes, and Spalding, the Red Stockings dominated the National Association, winning four of that league's five championships. The team became one of the National League's charter franchises in 1876, sometimes called the "Red Caps" (as a new Cincinnati Red Stockings club was another charter member). Boston came to be called the Beaneaters in 1883, while retaining red as the team color. Although somewhat stripped of talent in the National League's inaugural year, Boston bounced back to win the 1877 and 1878 pennants. The Red Caps/Beaneaters were one of the league's dominant teams during the 19th century, winning a total of eight pennants. The 1898 team finished 102-47, a club record for wins that would stand for almost a century. In 1894, 2B Bobby Lowe would become the first major league player to hit 4 homeruns in a game in the home park of the defunct Boston Reds (see below). This Atlanta brave franchise, which many have forgotten has Boston roots, was actually in the town of Boston for 82 years, of it's currently 140 completed seasons of baseball.
National Assoc. - 1872, 1873, 1874, 1875 National League - 1877, 1878, 1883, 1891, 1892, 1893, 1897, 1898
1879 The 1879 Providence Grays won the National League title in only their second season in the league. The Grays would go 59 - 25 in their championship season with a winning percentage of .702. One of the leading players from the 1879 pennant winner was Hall of Famer John Montgomery Ward. The team had a putative claim to being the first Major League Baseball team to field an African-American baseball player, William Edward White, a Brown University student who played one game for the Grays on June 21, 1879. Evidence is strong but not conclusive: Peter Morris of the Society for American Baseball Research has researched this issue, as reported by the Wall Street Journal on January 30, 2004. However, it has been acknowledged that White, who had at least one Negro ancestor, lived his life as a white man, and his race sparked no controversy when he was hired by Providence. Brothers Dan and Cliff Falk, who were both starting pitchers on the club during the 1883 season, may also have been of partial Negro ancestry.
1884 The Providence Grays 1884 National League title team would go 84 - 28, for an incredible .750 winning percentage.The 1884 team was led by ace pitcher and future Hall of Famer Charles "Old Hoss" Radbourn, who won a record 60 games that year and led the Grays to the pennant. When the team's other star pitcher, Charlie Sweeney, defected to the rival Union Association league in July, it looked like the Grays' season was doomed, but "Old Hoss" offered to pitch the rest of the team's games. The Grays went on a 20-game winning streak and topped the league ahead of their ferocious New England rivals, the Boston Red Stockings. In baseball the 1884 World Series was an early forerunner of the modern post-season championship series. Although the "Fall Classic" as we know it didn't begin until 1903, Major League Baseball had several versions of a post-season championship series before that. The first such championship series was in 1884, between the Providence Grays of the National League and the New York Metropolitans of the American Association at the Polo Grounds in New York City. In 1884, Metropolitans manager Jim Mutrie issued a challenge to his NL counterpart, Frank Bancroft of the Grays. Mutrie's challenge was for a best-of-three series. Providence would win all 3 games and they would be proclaimed the very first "World Series" Champions. Other memorable highlights of the Grays' short existence include a no-hitter by Radbourn on July 25, 1883, the second perfect game in MLB history, pitched by John Montgomery Ward on June 17, 1880, and pitcher Charlie Sweeney striking out 19 batters in a nine-inning game on June 7, 1884, a record that would stand until broken by Roger Clemens 102 years later.
1914 The MLB's Boston Braves, (currently Atlanta Braves), put together one of the most memorable seasons in baseball history in 1914. After a dismal 4-18 start, the Braves seemed to be on pace for a last place finish. On July 4, 1914, the Braves lost both games of a doubleheader to the Brooklyn Dodgers. The consecutive losses put their record at 26-40 and the Braves were in last place, 15 games behind the league-leading New York Giants, who had won the previous three league pennants. After a day off, the Braves started to put together a hot streak, and from July 6 through September 5, the Braves went 41-12. On September 7 and 8, the Braves took two of three from the New York Giants and moved into first place. The Braves tore through September and early October, closing with 25 wins against six losses, while the Giants went 16-16. They were the only team, under the old eight-team league format, to win a pennant after being in last place on the Fourth of July. They were in last place as late as July 18, but were close to the pack, moving into fourth on July 21 and second place on August 12. Despite their amazing comeback, the Braves entered the World Series as a heavy underdog to Connie Mack's Philadelphia A's. Nevertheless, the Braves swept the Athletics-the first unqualified sweep in the young history of the modern World Series (the 1907 Series had one tied game)-to win the world championship. The Braves played the World Series (as well as the last few games of the 1914 season) at Fenway Park, since their normal home, the South End Grounds, was too small. However, the Braves' success inspired owner Gaffney to build a modern park, Braves Field, which opened in August 1915. It was the largest park in the majors at the time, with 40,000 seats and a very spacious outfield. The park was novel for its time; public transportation brought fans right to the park.
1928 The Providence Steam Roller earned the 1928 NFL Championship by having an 8-1-2 record and the best winning percentage in the league. They would lose only one game on the season to a team from Frankfort, while they also played the New York Yankees football team, the defending NFL Champion New York Giants, and the 1928 title was clinched in a game against the Green Bay Packers. The Steam Roller are the last NFL franchise to win a title and not be in the league. In 1929 Providence played 4 games in a 6 day stretch. The second of which was held on November 6 at Kinsley Park (located on the corner of Kinsley and Acorn streets) in downtown Providence. Recently installed floodlights allowed them to host the first night game in NFL history against the then Chicago (currently Arizona) Cardinals. The Steam Roller would cease operations in 1931 due to the economic crisis that was affecting the country.
1929 The Boston Bruins , in existence since 1924, won over the New York Rangers to get their first Stanley Cup, two games to none in a best-of-three final. It was the first Cup between two Amercian teams. The playoffs were between division finishers of each division, rather than a division champion from each division.The Boston Bruins knocked off the Montreal Canadiens, the New York Rangers beat the New York Americans,and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Detroit Cougars. The Rangers beat Toronto and then the Bruins won their first Stanley Cup defeating the Rangers. In the process, Boston became one of the few Cup winners in history to not lose a single game in the playoffs, and the last team until 1952 to go undefeated in the playoffs. When the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 1928-29 they decided to use the rest of the ring that the 1926-27 Ottawa Senators had put on the cup. There was not enough room to include every official winning members. They had to leave off Red Green, Ed Rodden Lloyd Klein. When the cup was redone during the 1957-58 season, Green, Rodden, Klein were added to the cup. They also included Hal Winkler (who spent whole season in the minors), Eric Petteringer and Frank Fredrickson (who were traded away from Boston, and under NHL Rules should not be on the cup). By mistake Charles Adams and George Owen were left off the cup, even though there was more than enough room to include them. From 1958 to 1993 the 1928-29 Boston Bruins were on the Stanley Cup in 2 different places. One beside 1926-27 Ottawa, and other on first larger ring with winners from 1927-28 to 1939-40. Cy Denneny name was engraved on the Stanley Cup twice on the larger ring, once as Cy Dennenny Coach, and other time as C Denneny.
1936 The Boston Shamrocks were a team in the second American Football League from 1936 to 1937. The Shamrocks while only in existence for two years, had a major impact on the future of New England Sports. The Shamrocks would go on to win the 1936 AFLII Championship with an 8-3 record. They played their home games at Fenway Park and Braves field (Home to the Boston, now Atlanta, Braves baseball team). During their 1936 Championship season, the Shamrocks outdrew the NFL's Boston (now Washington) Redskins which prompted Redskins owner George Marshall to move his team to Washington, D.C. Paving the way for a new Boston franchise to emerge in 1960 as the Boston (New England) Patriots. Once the AFLII folded in 1937, the Shamrocks at first became an independent team and lost a 16-6 decision to the Pittsburgh (Steelers) Pirates of the NFL.
1936 The NFL's Boston Braves, (currently Washington Redskins), were a team created in 1932. It helped fill the void that the local Providence Steam Roller had filled till they closed up shop in 1931. At the start of the 1933 season, these Braves changed their name to the Redskins. They were known as the Boston Redskins and would play their home games in Fenway Park until 1936. And while the Redskins would not win an NFL Championship in Boston, it is still worth noting that they won the NFL East Division in their last year in the city and went to the NFL Championship game. After losing that game and moving to Washington, they would win the 1937 NFL Championship with a victory over the Chicago Bears. It is also noteworthy that those two teams would meet 3 years later in the title game. Chicago would win in what is still the most lopsided victory in NFL history, 73-0.
1939 The Boston Bruins , in 1939, changed its uniform colors from brown and yellow to the current black and gold, and captured the second Stanley Cup in franchise history. Beating the Toronto Maple Leafs four games to one in the final series. Prior to the start of the season, the Boston Bruins sold their star goaltender, Tiny Thompson, who had just won a record fourth Vezina Trophy, to the Detroit Red Wings. The fans thought Art Ross was crazy, but soon they were applauding rookie Frank Brimsek, would go on to back-stop the Bruins to a first overall finish and a Stanley Cup victory. He wiped out Thompson's shutout sequence record with three consecutive shutouts. He nearly equalled his new record with three more. He ended the season with 10 shutouts, and earned the nickname "Mr. Zero". He became the first goaltender to win both the Vezina Trophy and Calder Trophy in the same season and the first rookie named to the NHL First All-Star team.
1941 The Boston Bruins , in 1941 won their third Stanley Cup after losing only eight games and sweeping the Detroit Red Wings four games to none in the final series. Boston would have a slow start to the season, going winless in their first 4 games (0-2-2), and sat with a 6-7-3 record 16 games into the season, fighting with the Chicago Black Hawks and New York Americans for 3rd place in the league. The Bruins would then go on a record breaking unbeaten streak, as they would have a 15-0-8 record in their next 23 games, and sit in 2nd place to the Toronto Maple Leafs. After a 2-0 loss to the New York Rangers, Boston would finish the season 6-0-2 to pass the Leafs, and finish with the most points in the NHL for the 4th straight year. Boston had an amazing 21-1-10 record to close out the season. Bill Cowley would lead the NHL in scoring with 62 points, as he scored 17 goals and added 45 assists. Roy Conacher led the Bruins in goals with 24, and added 14 assists for a career high 38 points. Eddie Wiseman and Bobby Bauer had productive seasons, earning 40 and 39 points respectively, while Milt Schmidt finished with 38. Team captain Dit Clapper led the Boston blueline with 26 points, while Flash Hollett led the Bruins defense with 9 goals. In goal, Frank Brimsek had another outstanding season, winning 27 games, while earning 6 shutouts and posting a 2.01 GAA.
1970 During the 1969-70 season, the Boston Bruins got off to a quick start, going unbeaten in their first 7 games (6-0-1), which immediately was followed by a 5 game winless streak. The Bruins though would snap out of their mini-slump, and never have a 2 game losing streak for the remainder of the season, finishing the year with a 40-17-19 record, earning 99 points, which tied the Chicago Black Hawks for 1st place in the Eastern Division. Chicago was awarded 1st place though due to having more wins than Boston, as the Hawks recorded 45. The 1970 Stanley Cup Final NHL championship series was contested by the Boston Bruins and the St. Louis Blues, appearing in their third straight finals. The Bruins were making their first appearance in the Final since 1958. The Bruins would win the series 4-0, their first Stanley Cup victory in 29 years. Bobby Orr scored the Cup-winning goal on Glenn Hall, with an assist from Derek Sanderson, at forty seconds of overtime, and the subsequent image of Orr flying through the air, his arms raised in victory - he had been tripped by Blues' defenceman Noel Picard at the moment of shooting - is arguably the most famous and recognized hockey image of all time. Bobby Orr would have his breakout season, leading the league with 120 points, as he became the first defenceman in league history to record over 100 points, while setting an NHL record with 87 assists. Orr also scored 33 goals, which also was a record by a defenceman. Orr also provided toughness, leading the Bruins with 125 PIM. Phil Esposito had another very strong season, scoring 43 goals and earning 99 points, while John McKenzie registered 70 points. 34 year old John Bucyk scored a career high 31 goals and tied his career best with 69 points.
1972 The 1971-72 Boston Bruins season was the Bruins' 48th season in the NHL. For the second time in three years, the Bruins won the Stanley Cup. The 1972 Stanley Cup Final NHL championship series was contested by the Boston Bruins and the New York Rangers. It was the Rangers first appearance in the championship final series since 1950. The Bruins were making their first appearance since their victory in the 1970 Finals. It was the second Boston-New York Final series, the other being the 1929 Finals. The Bruins would win the best-of-seven series four games to two. Milestones this season included Gerry Cheevers setting an NHL record for the Boston Bruins (which has yet to be surpassed) with 33 straight undefeated games. On February 12, it was Gordie Howe Day in Detroit as his famous #9 was retired. On March 25, Bobby Hull scored his 600th NHL goal in a 5-5 tie with Boston at the Boston Garden. An exciting scoring race in which Ranger Jean Ratelle had been leading Bruin Phil Esposito was shortcircuited when Ratelle broke his ankle in a game against California, putting him out for over a month of play. Ratelle still ended up third in scoring behind Esposito and Bruin Bobby Orr, while his teammates Vic Hadfield and Rod Gilbert - all three linemates on the renowned GAG line -- finished fourth and fifth. A resurgent Frank Mahovlich, rejuvenated by a trade to Montreal, finished sixth, while Bobby Hull, in his final year in Chicago, finished seventh in points and second to Esposito in goals. Although they had fallen somewhat from their overwhelming offensive dominance from the previous season, once again the Boston Bruins had the best record in the league, while the Chicago Black Hawks topped the West Division.
1973 The Whalers franchise was born in November 1971 when the World Hockey Association awarded a franchise to New England businessmen Howard Baldwin, John Coburn, W. Godfrey Wood and William Edwin Barnes, to begin play in Boston. The Whalers would have the WHA's best regular-season record in the 1972-73 WHA season, with Webster leading the team in scoring and rampaging through the playoffs, and behind legendary ex-Boston University coach Jack Kelley, would win the inaugural Avco World Trophy, the WHA championship. While in Boston, the club played their home games at the Boston Arena and Boston Garden. However game scheduling at Boston Garden (owned by the rival NHL Bruins) became increasingly difficult, and the owners decided to relocate the team to Hartford, Connecticut beginning with the 1974-75 season. The area, aside from various minor league teams in New Haven, had been largely bereft of pro hockey until the team's arrival. On January 11, 1975, the team played its first game in front of a sellout crowd at the Hartford Civic Center Coliseum. The franchise remained in Hartford until it relocated to North Carolina for the 1997-98 season. Though they never again won the league championship, the New England Whalers were a successful team, never missing the playoffs in the WHA's history, and finishing first in its division three times. They had a more stable roster than most WHA teams-Ley, Webster, Selwood, Pleau, and Tommy Earl would all play over 350 games with the club-and scored a major coup when they signed legend Gordie Howe and his sons Mark and Marty from the Houston Aeros in 1977. While the first two full seasons in Hartford were not glittering the final two WHA seasons saw more success. They went to the finals again in 1978, with a veteran team spearheaded by the Howes (50-year-old Gordie led the team in scoring), future NHL stars Gordie Roberts and Mike Rogers, All-Star defenseman Ron Plumb, and forwards John McKenzie, Dave Keon and Mike Antonovich, and possessed one of the league's best defenses. The next season was not so fine, but while age finally caught up with Gordie Howe, the slack was picked up by Andre Lacroix, the WHA's all time leading scorer, acquired from the Aeros. As one of the most stable WHA teams, the Whalers, along with the Edmonton Oilers, Quebec Nordiques, and Winnipeg Jets, were admitted to the NHL when the rival leagues merged in 1979. Following lobbying from the Boston Bruins, one of the conditions of the merger stipulated that the Whalers were to drop "New England" from their name.
2001 The 2001 NFL season was the 82nd regular season of the National Football League. In the wake of the September 11 attacks, the games for September 16-September 17 were postponed and re-scheduled to the weekend of January 6-January 7. In order to retain the full playoff format, all playoff games, including the Super Bowl were re-scheduled one week later. The season-ending Pro Bowl was also moved to one week later. This was the last season in which each conference had 3 divisions, as the conferences were realigned to 4 divisions for the 2002 NFL Season. Also, this was the only NFL season where every jersey had a patch to remember those to die in 9/11, and the NY Jets and NY Giants wore a patch to remember the fire fighters who died. The season ended with Super Bowl XXXVI when the New England Patriots defeated the St. Louis Rams. The 2002 AFC divisional playoff game, known to some as the "Tuck Rule Game" (and known by Patriots fans as "Snow Bowl,") was the playoff game between the New England Patriots and the Oakland Raiders. It took place on January 19, 2002 at Foxboro Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, then the home stadium of the Patriots. The name "Tuck Rule Game" originates from the controversial game-changing play. In the play, Raiders' cornerback Charles Woodson sacked Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady, which in turn, seemingly caused a fumble that was eventually recovered by Raiders' linebacker Greg Biekert. Officials reviewed the play, and determined that Brady's arm was moving forward, thus making it an incomplete pass. As a result, the original call was overturned, and the ball was given back to the Patriots, who subsequently moved the ball into field goal range. With under a minute remaining in regulation, Patriots' placekicker Adam Vinatieri kicked a 45-yard field goal to tie the game 13-13. The Patriots won the toss and took the ball to start overtime. They drove 61 yards in 15 plays, with Brady completing all eight of his pass attempts for 45 yards. On fourth down and 4 from the Raider 28, Brady hit Patten for a six-yard completion. A few plays later, Vinatieri kicked a 23-yard field goal and the Patriots won 16�13. It was the final game at Foxboro Stadium, due to the Pittsburgh Steelers winning their divisional playoff game (they had home-field advantage throughout the playoffs). In the AFC Championship game against the Steelers the Patriots' storybook season continued as Drew Bledsoe came into the game in the second quarter in place of an injured Tom Brady - who replaced Bledsoe himself early in the season when he suffered a sheared blood vessel. Bledsoe took over without missing a beat, rushing for four yards and completing three passes to David Patten for 37 yards, the last one an 11-yard touchdown to give the Patriots a 14-3 lead. The Pats would hold on to upset the Steelers 24 - 17 and head to their third Super Bowl. In the Super Bowl, The New England Patriots (14-5) won their first Super Bowl by defeating the St. Louis Rams (16-3), 20-17, as kicker Adam Vinatieri made a game-winning 48-yard field goal as time expired. The Rams had been 14-point favorites to win the game, making the Patriots' victory one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history.
2003 The 2003 New England Patriots season was the 34th season for the team in the National Football League and 44th season overall. They finished with a league-best 14-2 record before advancing to and winning Super Bowl XXXVIII. Two seasons after winning Super Bowl XXXVI, the Patriots went into 2003 after missing the playoffs in 2002. In a salary cap-related move, captain and Pro Bowl safety Lawyer Milloy was released days before the start of the regular season, prompting second-guessing of head coach Bill Belichick among fans and a report by ESPN analyst Tom Jackson that Patriots players "hated their coach," an accusation later denied by players. Milloy signed with the Buffalo Bills, who defeated the Patriots, 31-0, in the season opener. The Patriots would rebound though, not losing another game after starting with a 2-2 record. Due to multiple injuries, the Patriots started 42 different players during the season, an NFL record for a division winner until the Patriots started 45 different players in 2005. Undefeated at home, nose tackle Ted Washington coined the phrase "Homeland Defense" for a Patriots' defense, boosted by the acquisitions of Washington and San Diego Chargers castoff safety Rodney Harrison in the offseason, that gave up a league-low 14.9 points per game en route to a 14-2 regular season record. The regular season was bookended with a 31-0 victory over the Bills at home in Week 17, a score reversed from the Patriots' shutout loss to the Bills in Week 1. The win gave the Patriots a perfect 8-0 record at home in the regular season. After a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs, the Patriots faced the Tennessee Titans at home in one of the coldest games in NFL history and won, setting up an AFC Championship Game matchup with the Indianapolis Colts. The top-seeded Patriots intercepted Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, the league's co-MVP, four times, winning 24-14 and advancing to Super Bowl XXXVIII against the Carolina Panthers. With a tied game late in the fourth quarter, Adam Vinatieri kicked the game-winning field goal with seconds remaining, giving the Patriots their second Super Bowl victory in three seasons.
2004 During the 2003-04 offseason, the Boston Red Sox acquired ace pitcher, Curt Schilling, and a closer, Keith Foulke. Expectations once again ran high that 2004 would be the year that the Red Sox ended their championship drought. The regular season started well in April, but through mid-season the team struggled due to injuries, inconsistency, and defensive woes. Management shook up the team at the MLB trading deadline on July 31 with a blockbuster four team trade. They traded the team's popular yet often injured shortstop Nomar Garciaparra with outfielder Matt Murton to the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs sent Brendan Harris, Alex Gonzalez and Francis Beltran to the Montreal Expos, and minor leaguer Justin Jones to the Minnesota Twins. The Red Sox received first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz from the Twins, and shortstop Orlando Cabrera from the Expos. In a separate transaction, the Red Sox traded minor leaguer Henri Stanley to the Los Angeles Dodgers for center fielder Dave Roberts. Following the trades, the club immediately turned things around, winning 22 out of 25 games and qualifying for the playoffs as the AL Wild Card. Players and fans affectionately referred to the players as "The Idiots," a term coined by Johnny Damon and Kevin Millar during the playoff push to describe the team's eclectic roster and devil-may-care attitude toward their supposed "curse." Boston began the postseason by sweeping the AL West champion Anaheim Angels in the ALDS. However, Curt Schilling suffered a torn ankle tendon in Game 1 when he was hit by a line drive. In the third game of the series, Vladimir Guerrero hit a grand slam off Mike Timlin in the 7th inning to tie the game. However, David Ortiz hit a walk-off two-run homer in the 10th inning to win the game. The Red Sox advanced to a rematch in the ALCS against the Yankees. The series started very poorly for the Red Sox. Schilling, pitching injured, was routed for six runs in three innings and Boston ended up losing Game 1. In the second game, with his Yankees leading 1-0 for most of the game, John Olerud hit a two-run home run to put New York up for good. Following this, the Red Sox were down three games to none after a crushing 19-8 loss in Game 3 at home. Up to this point, no team in the history of baseball had come back to win from a 3-0 series deficit. In Game 4, the Red Sox found themselves facing elimination, trailing 4-3 in the ninth with Mariano Rivera in to close for the Yankees. After Rivera issued a walk to Kevin Millar, Dave Roberts came on to pinch run and promptly stole second base. He then scored on an RBI single by Bill Mueller, sending the game into extra innings. The Red Sox went on to win the game on a two-run home run by David Ortiz in the 12th inning. Game 5 would last 14 innings, setting the record for the longest ALCS game ever played. Both sides squandered many opportunities, until Ortiz again sealed the win with a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 14th. The Commissioner's Trophy (2004 World Series)With the series returning to Yankee Stadium for Game 6, the comeback continued with Schilling pitching on a bad ankle. Three sutures being used to stabilize the tendon in Schilling's right ankle bled throughout the game, making his sock appear bloody red. Schilling only allowed one run over 7 innings to lead the Red Sox to victory. In Game 7, the Red Sox completed their historic comeback owing to the strength of Derek Lowe's pitching and Johnny Damon's two home runs (including a grand slam in the second inning). The Yankees were defeated 10-3. Ortiz, who had the game winning RBIs in Games 4 and 5, was named ALCS Most Valuable Player. The Red Sox joined the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs and 1975 New York Islanders as the only professional sports teams in history to win a best-of-seven games series after being down three games to none. The Red Sox swept the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2004 World Series. The Red Sox began the series with an 11-9 win, marked by Mark Bellhorn's game-winning home run off Pesky's Pole. Game 2 in Boston was won thanks to another great performance by the bloody-socked Curt Schilling. Pedro Mart�nez (in his first World Series performance) shut out the Cardinals for seven innings and led Boston to a 4-1 victory in game 3, and Derek Lowe and the Red Sox did not allow a single run in game 4. The game ended as Edgar Renteria hit the ball back to closer Keith Foulke. After Foulke lobbed the ball to Mientkiewicz at first, the Red Sox had won their first World Championship in 86 years. Fox commentator Joe Buck famously called the play with: "Back to Foulke. Red Sox fans have longed to hear it: The Boston Red Sox are World Champions!" Boston held the Cardinals' offense to only three runs in the final three games and never trailed in the series. Manny Ramirez was named World Series MVP. To add a final, surreal touch to Boston's championship season, on the night of Game 4 a total lunar eclipse colored the moon red over Busch Stadium..
2004 The New England Patriots (17 - 2) defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX played on February 6, 2005, at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida. They became the first team since the 1997-98 Denver Broncos to win consecutive Super Bowls. New England also became the second team after the Dallas Cowboys to win three Super Bowls in four years. This was the Patriots' third straight Super Bowl victory by a margin of three points. The margin of victory in each game was an Adam Vinatieri field goal, two of which (against the Rams and the Panthers) occurred in the final seconds of the fourth quarter. The Patriots, playing in their first-ever outdoor Super Bowl, forced four turnovers, while New England wide receiver Deion Branch, who recorded 133 receiving yards and tied the Super Bowl record with 11 catches, was named the Super Bowl's Most Valuable Player. Because he recorded 10 catches during the previous year's Super Bowl, he also set the record for the most combined receptions in 2 consecutive Super Bowls (21).
2006 (The Hartford Whalers /Carolina Hurricanes franchise won their first Stanley Cup during the 2005-2006 season, defeating the Edmonton Oilers 4 games to 3.) The Whalers first NHL season in 1979-80 looked somewhat promising. They finished the season with 73 points and a playoff berth and had the best record of the four former WHA franchises that entered the NHL in 1979-80. Following this season, Gordie Howe, Bobby Hull, and Andre Lacroix announced their retirements. To make matters worse, the Whalers reputation of making disastrous trades began to unfold, as the team began to trade away stars for mediocre players in an attempt to gain depth. The Whalers finished fourth in the Adams Division in the 1985-86 regular season and earned a playoff berth for the first time since 1980. The Whalers went on to eliminate the first-place Quebec Nordiques in three straight games in the first round, winning their sole playoff series in Hartford. The Whalers then pushed the division finals to seven games, losing the final game 2-1 in overtime to the eventual Stanley Cup champions, the Montreal Canadiens. The following season, the Whalers won their lone division championship, led by centers Ron Francis and Ray Ferraro, emerging hardcore winger Kevin Dineen, hardcore defenseman Ulf Samuelsson, superstar goalie Mike Liut, and troubled scorer Sylvain Turgeon. The 93 points earned that season were the most they would earn as an NHL team in Hartford. The Whalers got off to a good start in their playoff series with the Nordiques by winning the first two games at home but, beginning in Game 3, the Nordiques were able to successfully get the Whalers off of their game by playing a very tough, dirty, and chippy style of hockey. As a results, both teams broke NHL records in penalty minutes for an individual playoff game and a whole playoff series. The Nordiques won the next four straight games and the series four games to two. While the team would make the playoffs for the next five seasons in a row, they never came close to duplicating their previous success, with one exception in the 1989-90 season. In the 1989-90 season, the Whalers finished seventh overall in the NHL standings and fourth overall in the Wales Conference with 85 points. This was the franchises second highest point total in the NHL while in Hartford. The regular season was highlighted by captain and franchise player Ron Francis putting up career highs in goals with 32, assisits with 69, and points with 101. The Whalers went on to faced the Boston Bruins in the first round of the playoffs. After trading away their superstar goalie during the season, it was goaltending that turned out to be one of the big differences in this series and the Bruins won it in seven games. The Whalers went to the playoffs for the final time in 1992 behind Jimmy Roberts' coaching, but faced the very heavily favored Montreal Canadiens in the Adams Division Semifinals. The series went to Montreal for Game 7 and the Whalers lost a dramatic double overtime game by a score of 3-2. The Hartford Whalers' official theme song was "Brass Bonanza," a tune composed by an aspiring composer/musician Jack Say. (Brass Bonanza is now the goal song for the Connecticut Whale, the current AHL hockey team in Hartford that is named in honor of the NHL team.) In 1994, Compuware founder Peter Karmanos purchased the Whalers and pledged to keep them in Hartford for four years. However, two years later, frustrated with lackluster attendance and little corporate support, he announced that if the Whalers were unable to sell at least 11,000 season tickets for the 1996-97 season, he would likely move the team. The Whalers ultimately announced that they would be leaving Hartford after the 96-97 season. This marks one of the few times that a team announced it would leave its current city without having already announced an agreement with a new one. On April 13, 1997, the Whalers played their last game in Hartford, defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-1. Team captain Kevin Dineen, who had returned to Hartford midway through the 1995-1996 season after a brief stint in Philadelphia, scored the final goal in Whalers history. In July, Karmanos announced the team would move to Raleigh, North Carolina as the Carolina Hurricanes.
2007 The New England Revolution are one of the ten original MLS franchises to compete in the league's inaugural season. However, it took them until 2007 (their twelfth year of existence) to win their first trophy, the 2007 US Open Cup. The 2007 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup was the 94th edition of the oldest competition in American soccer, running from June through early October. The New England Revolution defeated FC Dallas 3-2 in the final played at Pizza Hut Park, Frisco, Texas. The following year, they won the 2008 North American SuperLiga. The Revolution have never won an MLS Cup nor MLS Supporters' Shield, despite reaching the MLS Cup finals in 2002, 2005, 2006, and 2007; and having the second best regular season record in 2005. The 2007 MLS Cup was a rematch from the previous year, though the result was the same as Houston defeated New England 2-1.
2007 The Boston Red Sox , by the All-Star break in 07, had the best record in baseball and held their largest lead in the American League East, 10 games over the Blue Jays and Yankees. In the second half, more stars emerged for the Red Sox as they continued to lead the AL East. Beckett continued to shine, reaching 20 wins for the first time in his career. At one point, veteran Tim Wakefield found himself atop the AL in wins and finished with a 17-12 record. Minor league call-up Clay Buchholz provided a spark on September 1 by pitching a no-hitter in his second career start. Another call-up, outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, was thrust into the starting lineup while Manny Ramirez rested through most of September. Ellsbury played brilliantly during the month, hitting .361 with 3 HR, 17 RBI, and 8 stolen bases. Mike Lowell continued to carry the club, hitting cleanup in September and leading the team with 120 RBI for the season. Eventual 2007 Rookie of the Year Dustin Pedroia finished his outstanding first full season with 165 hits and a .317 average. The Red Sox became the first team to clinch a playoff spot for the 2007 season and the Red Sox captured their first AL East title since 1995. The Red Sox faced the Colorado Rockies in the 2007 World Series. Beckett set the tone in game 1, pitching seven strong innings as the offense provided more than enough in a 13-1 victory. In Game 2, Schilling, Okajima, and Papelbon held the Rockies to one run again in a 2-1 game. Moving to Colorado, the Red Sox offense made the difference again in a 10-5 win. Finally, in Game 4, Jon Lester took Wakefield's spot in the rotation and gave the Red Sox an impressive start, pitching 5�� shutout innings. The Rockies threatened, but thanks to World Series MVP Mike Lowell and aided by a home run by Bobby Kielty, Papelbon registered another save as the Red Sox swept the Rockies in four games, capturing their second title in four years.
2008 The Boston Celtics made a series of moves in the summer of 2007 that returned the Celtics to prominence. On draft night, they traded the #5 pick Jeff Green, former all-star Wally Szczerbiak and Delonte West to Seattle for perennial all-star and UConn alum Ray Allen and Seattle's second-round pick which the team used to select LSU's Glen "Big Baby" Davis. Then the Celtics traded Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, Al Jefferson, Theo Ratliff, Sebastian Telfair, to Minnesota, where Kevin McHale was the G.M., and swapped 2009 first round draft picks, for former MVP Kevin Garnett. These moves created the "New Big Three", which would revitalize the team and lead them back to glory. The Celtics completed the largest single-season turnaround in NBA history. The Celtics defeated the Detroit Pistons in six games of the Eastern Conference Finals, winning two road games. In the NBA Finals, the Celtics faced the Lakers for the 11th time. The Celtics won the series in six games; along the way added several key moments such as Paul Pierce's return from a knee injury in Game 1, Game 4's 24-point comeback, and Game 6's 39-point demolition, the latter still the largest margin of victory in a championship clincher. The win in Game 6 was a sense of relief, as it was a difficult path to this championship; in that game, these Celtics set a record for most games a team had ever played in a postseason, with 26. And when all was said and done, the Celtics would raise banner #17 to the rafters.
2011 The Boston Bruins , in the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, became the first team in National Hockey League history to win a playoff series without scoring a powerplay goal, as they eliminated the Montreal Canadiens in 7 games on home ice at the TD Garden. On May 6, 2011, the Boston Bruins swept the Philadelphia Flyers on home ice to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 1992, where they defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning in seven games and advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since 1990 to face the Vancouver Canucks. The Bruins lost the first two games of the series in very close contests, 1-0, on a goal with less than 19 seconds left in regulation, and then 3-2 in overtime. The third game of the series did not start well for the Bruins, either, as they lost first-line forward Nathan Horton to injury at the 5:07 mark of the first period after a hit by Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome that left Horton prone on the ice for nearly 10 minutes. Despite losing Horton to a devastating hit, the Bruins defeated the Canucks, with 4 goals in each of the second and third periods, twice scoring short-handed goals, and going on to win, 8-1. It was the highest score by one team, and largest winning margin, in a Finals game since 1996. Game 4 followed this up, with the Bruins defeating the Canucks in a 4-0 shutout. The tendency for the home team to be the winner in the series continued, with Game 5 in Vancouver going to the Canucks in a 1-0 shutout, then Game 6 being another triumph for the Bruins with a 5-2 defeat of the Canucks, in which the Bruins set a new record for the quickest four goals ever in a playoff series game, scoring in only 4:14 of game time in the first period of Game 6. Game 7, which was played in Vancouver on June 15, was the first time the Bruins have ever played in a Stanley Cup final series game 7 situation. The Bruins shut out Vancouver 4-0, winning the sixth cup in the team's history and breaking a 39 year "cup drought." The 2011 Bruins were the first team in NHL history to win a game 7 three times in the playoffs..