By Kevin Stone/@kstone06
September 8, 1998, where were you?
I was in my parents’ apartment in Waltham. The Red Sox faced the Yankees that night at Fenway, and I was a 10-year old in bed listening on a transistor radio my dad had given me.
I distinctively remember yelling downstairs. Jerry Trupiano said that McGwire was coming up for his second at-bat so I asked my dad if I could come down to watch it live and witnessed history.
Baseball was everything to a 10-year old at that point. My friends and I had ridiculous amounts of cards, followed the standings and played wiffle ball until the sun went down. Unfortunately, those days now seem long gone. After watching this, I decided to look back at that night from a Red Sox perspective.
Darren Lewis, CF
John Valentin, 3B
Mo Vaughn, 1B
Troy O’Leary, LF
Mike Stanley, DH
Darren Bragg, RF
Mike Benjamin, 2B
Pedro Martinez, P
Chuck Knoblauch, 2B
Derek Jeter, SS
Paul O’Neill, RF
Bernie Williams, CF
Tino Martinez, 1B
Ricky Ledee, LF
Scott Brosius, 3B
Joe Girardi, C
David Cone, P
Nomar had the only home run in that game for the Sox. Pedro struck out eight but he walked six. Cone struck out 11. The Sox got a run in the bottom of the ninth on a Troy O’Leary sacrifice fly, but Mariano ultimately got the save.
WHAT HAPPENED THE REST OF 1998?
The Yankees went on to begin their dynasty, beating the Padres in the World Series. The Sox made the ALDS but lost 3-1 to Cleveland. I unfortunately was at the final game. Mo Vaughn left after the season, but the Sox reached the ALCS in 1999.
The 30-for-30 from ESPN did a great job stirring up memories for baseball fans my age that remember how important the game was around the country at that point. The Red Sox were king in New England.
Baseball is dying, but for one night on Sunday it meant something again.