At 11:40 PM on October 27, 2004, the waiting finally ended.
I was in a jam-packed Riviera Cafe and Sports Bar in the West Village. When Keith Foulke flipped the ball to Doug Mientkiewicz to get that final out, the bar simply exploded, with people hugging, jumping around, and a few tears were shed as well. For ten minutes, the bar was sheer pandemonium. I remember yelling out moments after the title was won to no one in particular, "I've lived to see it happen!" and "Whenever God wants me, I'm ready to go!!"
We celebrated long into the night (and I didn't get home until after 5 in the morning). I'll never forget the looks on my friends faces as we were drinking into the night. It seemed like none of us could truly believe what we had seen over the past four games. The Red Sox had swept the Cardinals, and were now the champions.
And NO ONE can ever take that away. Never.
It was two years ago today.
In what will become a yearly tradition for me, I will pull out Game 4 of the 2004 World Series from my DVD box set and enjoy that bottom of the ninth in its entirety later tonight.
It hardly seems like two calendar years have gone by since the Red Sox won it all.
When I finish watching, I'll lift a glass to the 2004 World Champions.
Thank you, Red Sox.