Pinstriped glory, the greatest moments in Yankee history part five: The Boston Massacres

Let’s get this out of the way. Unlike the actual Boston Massacre during Revolutionary War times, no one died in these two massacres (except the hopes and dreams of the people of New England). These two separate events happened 28 years apart but will forever be intertwined. Anytime you can sweep an opponent it is exciting, but when that team happens to be your most bitter rival who you’re fighting for the pennant with, it makes it even better. The Yankees and Red Sox have long had baseball and sports greatest rivalry (I don’t want to hear it; your rivalries don’t compare. Looking at you Giants and Dodgers fans). 

Ever since Babe Ruth was sold to New York for $125,000, the two teams have been at each other’s throats, with the Yankees coming out on top a large majority of the time. In recent years, yes, the Red Sox have been more successful championship wise, but they still sit far away from the mighty Yankees. Two series in particular show the dominance New York has had over Boston, they were series so dramatic and noteworthy that they became known as the Boston Massacre part one and two.
Photo Credit: AP Photo
Coming into the 1978 season, the Yankees were the reigning World Series champions, but it was the Red Sox who looked stellar out of the gate, in fact in mid-July the Sox held a 14.5 game lead over New York and seemed well on their way to supplanting their arch rivals as kings of the baseball world. However, Boston would suffer a barrage of injuries in the coming months. and the Yankee picked up their play and went on an absolute tear of winning. 

On September 7, 1978, the Yankees came to Boston trailing the Red Sox by only four games. What happened over the next four days would prove to fans of both teams that maybe there really was such a thing as “the curse of the Bambino.” The Yankees proceeded to smack the Sox around including a 15-3 drubbing in game one of the series. The Bronx Bombers cruised past the Red Sox again in game two winning 13-2. In game three, Cy Young award winner, Ron Guidry, shutout the powerful Boston lineup by a score of 7-0, one of Guidry’s 25 victories that year. Game four of the series would be the closest one but the result was the same, the Yanks won 7-4, sweeping the Red Sox and leaving Boston tied for first in the AL East.

The two famous foes met again for a one game playoff at the end of the season, a game in which light hitting shortstop Bucky Dent launched a three-run home run into the green monster’s netting, giving the Yankees the division and eventually another Word Series title to add to their impressive legacy.

Fast forward 28 years to 2006, and history was about to repeat itself. The Yankees headed into Boston for a series with the Red Sox in which they played five games in four days. An earlier rainout caused a double header to be played on August 18th. In game one of the day night doubleheader, Chien-Ming Wang and the Bombers cruised to victory beating the Red Sox 12-4 (Jason Johnson picked up the loss for Boston, god was he terrible).  The night cap would be a slugfest between the two squads with the Yankees coming out on top with a 14-11 win. Former Red Sox pitcher Mike Myers picked up the win for the visitors.  In game three, Randy Johnson easily defeated Boston ace Josh Beckett for a 13-5 Yankees win. Game four was a nail biter that took ten innings to finish, but an offensively charged top of the tenth gave New York an 8-5 victory. In the final game of the series. Cory Lidle bested former Yankee David Wells in a 2-1 win.
Photo Credit: Boston Globe Staff
If possible this series was even more impressive than its predecessor from 1978. The Yankees outscored the Red Sox 47-25 and swept all five games, stretching their division lead to 6.5 games, a deficit the Red Sox would never recover from. Robinson Cano drove in ten runs in the wrap around weekend series, Johnny Damon had eight, Jason Giambi seven, Alex Rodriguez five and Jorge Posada six. Needless to say, the offense got contributions from many members. Also, Yankee fun fact, Craig Wilson played for the Yankees in this series and had multiple hits.

The Yankees finished 2006 by winning the AL East again for the ninth consecutive season, they’d win 97 games, but lose to the Detroit Tigers in the ALDS. The Red Sox finished third in the division, a distant 11 games back of the Yankees. Part two of the Boston Massacre really sealed their fate that season and the Yankees never looked back. Both teams continued to play well in the following seasons, with the Red Sox winning the World Series in 2007 and two years later the Yankees capturing title number 27.  The two rivals will meet for the first time in 2018 April 10-12 in Boston. How about Boston Massacre part three fellas?

Article by Fave Ruggiero


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