Box-Toppers recalls 2004's postseason, when Cards-Red Sox also met in World Series

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With the Red Sox and the Cardinals matched up against each other for the fourth time in World Series history, let's take a Box-Toppers look back to the last time they faced off, in the 2004 Fall Classic. 

With nine years of separation, there aren't a lot of returning players from the previous Cards-Sox title bout—in fact, only two: 

  • Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz.
  • Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina.

Ortiz had 10.7 Box-Toppers points during the 2004 regular season, his best at the time and was Player of the Game in two postseason contests—once in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series against the Yankees and once in Game 1 of the World Series against the Cardinals. This season, Ortiz had 12.4 Box-Toppers points and has already been Player of the Game in Game 2 of the ALCS vs. the Tigers.

Molina was in his first year with the Cardinals in 2004 and had only 1.0 Box-Toppers point. He was playing behind then-starting catcher (now Cardinals manager) Mike Matheny. This season, Molina has 4.0 Box-Toppers points. 

One other current Cardinal player did play a prominent role in 2004's postseason. Carlos Beltran, then of the Astros, was twice Player of the Game during the National League Division series, as the Astros defeated the Braves, three games to two. The Astros lost to the Cardinals in the NLCS, four games to three. 

The 2004 postseason was also notable because it was the first and only time a team with a 3-0 game deficit in a best-of-seven series came back to win it 4-3. That was the Red Sox, beating the Yankees in the ALCS, sparked by Ortiz' Game 4 performance. Ortiz hit a walk-off, 12th-inning, two-run home run to beat the Yankees 6-4. The Sox then trailed that series three games to one.

The 2004 postseason was also notable because it was the first time the Red Sox had won the World Series since 1918—a span of 86 years. The Red Sox went on to sweep the Cardinals in the Fall Classic. Then-Cards stars like Albert Pujols, who contributed to St. Louis wins in the first two rounds of the postseason, were shut out from even once earning Box-Toppers Player of the Game honors during the World Series. However, Ortiz was joined by three other arguably legendary Red Sox as Player of the Game in the other three World Series victories: 

  • Game 1: Ortiz, who has 126.4 Box-Toppers points for his career, ranked 24th all-time (since 1995 when Box-Toppers record-keeping began).
  • Game 2: Pitcher Curt Schilling, who had 21.0 Box-Toppers points in 2004 and has 194.1 since 1995, ranked third on the all-time (since 1995) list.  
  • Game 3: Pitcher Pedro Martinez, who had 17.1 Box-Toppers points in 2004 and has 244.8 since 1995, ranked second on the all-time (since 1995) list, behind only Randy Johnson (278.8). 
  • Game 4: Pitcher Derek Lowe, who had a career-low 1.0 Box-Toppers point in 2004, but has 91.5 for his career, ranked 82nd on the all-time list. 

2004 League Division Series Box-Toppers results 

Here are Box-Toppers Players of the Games for each of the league division series games played in 2004. Games are listed by day. The Red Sox beat the Angels 3-0. The Yankees beat the Twins 3-1. The Cardinals beat the Dodgers 3-1. The Astros beat the Braves 3-2.

Oct 5                  
MLB2.0Red Sox Manny Ramirez lf522301   0.000000
NL2.0Cardinals Larry Walker rf422202   0.000000
 2.0Twins 000000  Johan Santana (W, 1-0)7.090015
Oct 6                  
MLB5.0Astros Carlos Beltran cf333200   0.000000
AL3.1Red Sox 0000000  Keith Foulke (S, 1)1.100002
BAT3.0Yankees Alex Rodriguez 3b624300   0.000000
Oct 7                  
MLB4.0`Braves  000000  John Smoltz3.000023
BAT3.0Cardinals Edgar Renteria ss433100   0.000000
Oct 8                  
MLB4.0`Red Sox  000000  Bronson Arroyo6.032227
BAT1.0Yankees Derek Jeter ss503300   0.000000
Oct 9                  
MLB7.0Dodgers  000000  Jose Lima (W, 1-0)9.050014
NL3.0Astros  000000  Brad Lidge (S, 1)1.000002
BAT2.0Yankees Ruben Sierra dh412310   0.000000
Oct 10                  
MLB3.0Cardinals Albert Pujols 1b412410   0.000000
 2.0Braves Adam LaRoche 1b311311   0.000000
Oct 11                  
MLB7.0Astros Carlos Beltran cf534500   0.000000

2004 League Championship Series Box-Toppers results 

Here are Box-Toppers Players of the Games for each of the league championship series games played in 2004. The Red Sox beat the Yankees 4-3. The Cardinals beat the Astros 4-3.

Oct 12                  
MLB5.0YankeesHideki Matsui lf523500   0.000000
Oct 13                  
MLB4.0Yankees 0000000  Jon Lieber (W, 1-0)7.031113
NL3.0Cardinals Albert Pujols 1b322221   0.000000
Oct 14                  
MLB3.0Cardinals Scott Rolen 3b422301   0.000000
Oct 16                  
MLB9.0Yankees Hideki Matsui lf655500   0.000000
NL5.0Astros 0000000  Brad Lidge (S, 2)2.010015
Oct 17                  
MLB4.0Astros Lance Berkman, RF212320         
AL2.0Red Sox David Ortiz, DH512411         
Oct 18                  
MLB9.0`Astros          Brandon Backe8.010024
AL5.0Red Sox          Tim Wakefield (W,1-0)3.010014
Oct 19                  
MLB5.0Red Sox          Curt Schilling (W,2-1)7.041104
Oct 20                  
MLB5.0Red Sox Johnny Damon cf623600   0.000000
NL4.0Cardinals  000000  Julian Tavarez (W, 2-1)2.000002
Oct 21                  
MLB4.0Cardinals  000000  Jeff Suppan (W, 2-1)6.032126

2004 World Series Box-Toppers results 

Here are Box-Toppers Players of the Games for each of the World Series games played in 2004. The Red Sox beat the Cardinals 4-0.

Oct 23                  
MLB4.0Red Sox David Ortiz, DH312420   0.000000
Oct 24                  
MLB4.0Red Sox  000000  Curt Schilling (W, 1-0)6.041014
Oct 26                  
MLB8.0Red Sox  000000  Pedro Martinez (W, 1-0)7.030026
Oct 27                  
MLB7.0Red Sox  000000  Derek Lowe (W, 1-0)7.030014

In the first column of each chart, the designation MLB indicates Player of the Day, AL or NL indicates Player of the Day in the opposite league and BAT indicates the player was the top batter of the day in his league. Usually, top players of the game receive 1.0 Box-Toppers point, top batters in the league receive 1.5, top players in the league receive 1.7 and top overall players receive 2.0. However, postseason Box-Toppers points are not counted in regular season Box-Toppers totals.

` Denotes that the pitcher had a no-decision in the game and did not pick up a win or a save.