Top 10 Boston Sports Moments of 2013
Nov. 24: Patriots overcome 24-point halftime deficit, beat Denver, 34-31, in overtime
Aug. 1: Red Sox score six in the ninth to beat Seattle, 8-7
Sept. 15: Yankees legend Mariano Rivera receives standing-O, is honored in final Fenway game
Sept. 4: David Ortiz records 2,000th career hit in 20-4 win over Detroit
May 26: Red Sox score four in the ninth to beat Cleveland, 6-5
April 15: Mike Napoli crushes walk-off hit off Monster on Patriots’ Day
April 4: Jaromir Jagr scores in Bruins’ debut
10. Doc Rivers returns to Boston
Would he get cheered or would he get booed? That was the million dollar question in the days leading up to Doc Rivers’ return to TD Garden on Dec. 11. The former Celtics head coach jetted to Los Angeles to take over the Clippers in June, a move that angered many fans who believed that he was bailing on the rebuilding Green.
But when Rivers walked on to the court, and when he was introduced, and when a tribute video was shown following the first quarter, Rivers was given prolonged standing ovations.
After the game, Rivers was emotional, struggling to express to his admiration for the fans of Boston.
9. Shane Victorino’s grand slam in Game 6 of ALCS sends Sox to the Series
The Red Sox trailed the Detroit Tigers, 2-1, in the seventh inning of Game 6 of the ALCS Oct. 19. But everything was going to be alright because Shane Victorino was coming to the plate with the bases loaded. One swing of the bat – a towering blast over the Green Monster – made it 5-2 Boston and sent the Sox back to the World Series. (And it wasn’t even the biggest grand slam on this list.)
8. Bruins sweep Penguins to reach Cup Final
The Bruins were in the middle of a magical postseason run. But not many expected them to cruise past the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference finals. And even fewer expected a sweep. But the Black & Gold dominated in a four-game laugher, outscoring Pittsburgh, 12-2. Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin were held scoreless in the series that saw the Bruins win Game 3 in double overtime on a Patrice Bergeron tally.
The B’s advanced to their second Cup Final in three years by shutting out the Pens in Game 4, 1-0, on June 7. Adam McQuaid had the winner 5:01 into the third period.
7. Patriots, Tom Brady are Comeback Kids against Saints, Browns
All season long, the Patriots have proved that they are never – ever – out of a game. But last-second wins over New Orleans on Oct. 18 and Cleveland on Dec. 8 were legendary. The first came against an undefeated Saints team. New Orleans had taken a 27-23 after a field goal with 2:46 to go. On the ensuing drive, Tom Brady was intercepted, but the Saints went three and out, giving the Patriots one more chance with 1:13 to go and one timeout.
Brady then took over, leading the offense 70 yards in eight plays. He found newcomer Austin Collie for a 9-yard gain on fourth and 4, before spiking the ball at the Saints 17. On the next play, Brady found rookie Kenbrell Thompkins for a 17-yard touchdown with 5 seconds left that gave the Pats a remarkable 30-27 victory.
The comeback win over Cleveland was even more incredible. The Patriots trailed, 26-14, with 2:39 left in regulation. Brady then led an 11-play, 95-yard drive in 1:38, which ended when the quarterback found Julian Edelman for a 2-yard touchdown that made it 26-21.
The Patriots then recovered the onside kick, taking over at the Browns’ 40 with 1:01 to go. Three plays and 30 seconds later, the Patriots were leading, 27-26, after Brady found Danny Amendola for a 1-yard touchdown, that was set up by a pass interference call on the previous play.
A 59-yard field goal attempt by Cleveland’s Billy Cundiff – yes, that guy – fell short as time expired.
6. Red Sox cross Marathon finish line during victory parade
The Red Sox journey to a World Series title brought Boston and New England together all summer long and provided a much-needed escape following the Marathon Bombings on April 15. And as the victory parade rolled down Boylston Street on Nov. 2, past the finish line, it was clear the city was not broken.
The parade halted and Jonny Gomes and Jarrod Saltalamacchia exited the Duck Boats and placed the World Series trophy – draped in a Boston Strong ‘617’ jersey – on the finish line as God Bless America echoed through the streets. David Ortiz also got off a Duck Boat and ran past the finish line.
5. This is our f***ing city!
Ortiz has been a worthy ambassador for the city of Boston ever since he arrived in 2003. But this past year, he was one of the faces – and the voice – of the town, especially in the wake of the Marathon Bombings. Following the worst week in the city’s history, the Red Sox played their first game at home since the tragedy on April 20 – a day after the game was postponed due to the ongoing manhunt for the suspects.
In a stirring pregame ceremony, in which victims and first responders were honored, Ortiz took to the mic and uttered the following: “This jersey that we wear today, it doesn’t say Red Sox, it says Boston…This is our f***ing city. And nobody is going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong.”
Daniel Nava’s three-run homer in the eighth inning gave the Red Sox a 4-2 lead in an eventual 4-3 victory.
4. David Ortiz hits game-tying grand slam in Game 2 of ALCS
The Red Sox were teetering on the edge. Trailing, 1-0, in the series and, 5-1, in Game 2 of the ALCS on Oct. 13, the offense seemingly inept, things were looking bleak. But with the bases loaded and two down in the bottom of the eighth, David Ortiz stepped to the plate against Joaquin Benoit, who had just entered the game. On Benoit’s first pitch, Ortiz drilled a game-tying grand slam into the Red Sox bullpen, just over the outstretched glove of right fielder Torii Hunter. Hunter tumbled over the wall, Boston Police officer Steve Horgan raised his arms, and the rest is history.
Saltalamacchia delivered a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth.
3. Bruins stun Toronto in Game 7
It really was the year of the comeback in Boston. And it all started on May 13 at TD Garden in Game 7 of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Bruins were dead, trailing the Maple Leafs, 4-1, midway through the third period.
But Nathan Horton cut the deficit to 4-2 with 10:42 remaining. Then Milan Lucic made it 4-3 with 1:22 to go. The Bruins were alive. And 31 seconds later, the game was tied when Patrice Bergeron fired a wrister past goalie James Reimer from the top of the slot. Pandemonium.
The winner-take-all contest headed to overtime. Enter Bergeron – again. He followed his own rebound and potted the winning goal at 6:05 of the extra session, capping the most incredible comeback in Bruins history.
2. Bruins fans sing National Anthem after Marathon bombings
Two days after the bombings, on April 17, the Bruins played the Buffalo Sabres in the first major event in Boston since the attacks. Before the game an emotional video tribute was played before legendary National Anthem singer, Renee Rancourt, took to the mic. After singing the first few words, Rancourt let the crowd take over. Not a dry eye in the house.
1.Red Sox win the World Series
It was meant to be. The Red Sox won their third World Series in 10 years on Oct. 30, capping a mystical journey that provided Boston with so much happiness during such difficult times. Koji Uehara struck out Matt Carpenter to end it and capture the Sox’ first title at Fenway Park in 95 years – a 4-2 series win over the St. Louis Cardinals.
Victorino had four RBIs in the clincher, including three on a double in the third inning. Stephen Drew also added a homer and John Lackey got the win.