It was a year ago tonight that the Red Sox ended generations of heartbreak and sent an entire region into celebration with their first championship in 86 years.
Behind a masterful Derek Lowe, the Sox finished off the Cardinals in Game 4 of the World Series on Oct. 27, 2004, at Busch Stadium. Some memorable quotes from after the game:
John Henry: "We won't even need the airplane to fly home."
Theo Epstein: "This is for anyone who ever played for the Red Sox, anyone who ever rooted for the Red Sox, anyone who has ever been to Fenway Park. This is bigger than the 25 players in this clubhouse. This is for all of Red Sox Nation past and present. I hope they're enjoying it as much as we are."
Johnny Damon: "A lot of people thought it would never happen. So to be able to celebrate and carry that trophy, that's what it's all about."
Pedro Martinez: "The ring is meaningless, it's a material thing. But the feeling that the people are going to have in Boston is indescribable."
Curt Schilling: "We're world champions. There's no living player who can say what we can say today: We're the world champion Boston Red Sox."
Dan Shaughnessy: New England and a sprawling Nation of Sox fans can finally exhale. The Red Sox are World Champs. No more Curse of the Bambino. No more taunts of "1918." The suffering souls of Bill Buckner, Grady Little, Mike Torrez, Johnny Pesky, and Denny Galehouse are released from Boston Baseball's Hall of Pain.
Jackie MacMullan: Go ahead. Say it. The Boston Red Sox have won the World Series. Let it roll off your tongue, washing away the bitter taste of 1948 and 1978 and 1986 and 2003. Let Bill Buckner and Mike Torrez and Grady Little go gracefully into the night. Let go of all the angst and anger and agony that has been simmering for 86 years.
Bob Ryan: Eight straight! It's ovah! Red Sox win! Red Sox win! Theeeeeeee Red Sox win! God, I hope you're satisfied.
Bob Hohler: Hail the lovable idiots. Bless the baseball gods. Raise a cup to the good souls in Red Sox lore -- from Ted Williams and Joe Cronin to Gary Waslewski and Pumpsie Green -- who chased but never captured the game's greatest prize. The Red Sox are champions of the world.
Eric Wilbur: Dusty bottles of champagne, the cork half popped 18 years ago, are opening all over the world. Phone lines everywhere are jammed as loved ones call each other to share in the moment. Many of us remember those who would have loved to witness this moment, just ever so quickly, if their time hadnít run out on them first.