Celebrating "THE STEAL" 17 years later

Jim Monaghan
Content Coordinator

Seventeen years ago tonight, everything changed.

Red Sox fans had no way of knowing what the ultimate outcome would be just 10 days later in St. Louis, but when Bill Mueller singled home Dave Roberts with the tying run in Game 4 of the 2004 American League Championship Series, the beginning of the greatest comeback in sports history had begun.

By now, the scene is indelibly etched in your brain.

The Yankees were up three-games-to-none and had just routed Boston 19-8 the night before. Another ouster from the playoffs at the hands of their most-hated rivals was just 27 outs away.

With the Yankees leading 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth, Kevin Millar worked a leadoff walk against Mariano Rivera. Manager Terry Francona turned to Roberts to pinch run.

Roberts drew three throws to the bag from Rivera, and when the Yankee closer finally went to the plate, Roberts was off to the races.

With Roberts now in scoring position, Mueller singled him home, Fenway erupted and three innings later, David Ortiz slammed a two-run homer to right for the walk-off win.

As many times as I've watched the video, I'm always just a little surprised that the Yankees didn't get a gift call. And I never fail to get goose bumps.

Three nights later, I was driving down Interstate 287 in New Jersey listening through the static to the Red Sox radio call of Johnny Damon's second inning grand slam on WTIC out of Connecticut, still not quite believing what appeared to be unfolding.

On this off day in the 2021 ALCS, take a moment to reflect back on this night 17 years ago.

The night when everything changed.

Click here to find more by Jim Monaghan on Red Sox Life. Follow him on twitter - @Monaghan21.