Red Sox Hat

2004 champs rule the day at Fenway opener

As bittersweet days go, the Red Sox couldn’t have conjured one more potent.

Those who were at Fenway Park on Tuesday, or even those who watched it on TV or listened to it on the radio, shared an emotional jolt.

The Opening Day ceremonies were dedicated to the 2004 World Series champion Red Sox. They draped the giant championship pennant over The Wall. Figures who helped write that page in sports history stood behind it on the warning track, awaiting their cue to come forward.

Memories took charge, none of them requiring the layer of embellishment that time typically provides.

The giant pennant, the honored guests hiding behind it, the World Series trophy, represent the standard method of operation for such occasions. It was born, of course, on Opening Day, 2005.

Slaying The Curse was an accomplishment previously considered impossible – coming back from a 3-0 deficit to beat the Yankees, of all foils. New York manager Joe Torre required his team to watch respectfully from the top step of the third-base dugout as the Red Sox received their World Series rings.

On Tuesday, one member of that ballclub had the strongest tug on the heartstrings.

Tim Wakefield, his wife Stacy, and their kids, Briana and Trevor, stole the show.

Today’s Red Sox wore their classic white jerseys, featuring a patch honoring Tim Wakefield. When Wakefield died of cancer last fall fans mourned. When his wife Stacy succumbed to cancer  whose popularity with fans was borne from an everyman aura, 

Briana threw out the first pitch to Jason Varitek, a close family friend. Briana and Trevor joined to hoist the 2004 World Series trophy.

Then the 2024 Red Sox, wearing the patches honoring Wakefield on their jerseys, slipped onto the stage. By game’s end, bitter had completely drubbed sweet.

The Orioles posted a 6-1 win, icing the Red Sox bats. Sloppy defensive play, topped by Jarren Duran’s botching of a routine fly ball into the left-field corner, proved most damaging.

Fans would have been better off heading to the Cask, hosting a cold draft in honor of Briana and Trevor’s mom and dad.