Curt Schilling: A Hero's Hero

Andrew CahillSenior Analyst IMarch 31, 2009

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 19:   Pitcher Curt Schilling #38 of the Boston Red Sox grabs at his ankle as it appears to be bleeding in the fourth inning during game six of the American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees on October 19, 2004 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

 Patriot Pat says-

October of 2004 was a very stressful month for Boston Red Sox fans.

Their beloved team had battled hard all season to make a return trip to the American League Championship Series, but then fell behind the New York Yankees three games to none, in a rematch of the 2003 series.

As I strolled through a deserted Northeastern University campus in the early morning, I mulled over the 19-8 clobbering delivered by the Yankees in the series first game at Fenway Park.

The sky was grey, and the chill from the wind struck right at my shot nerves.

Three games down? We have to win the next four? Has that ever been done before?

No, it had not, and was highly against any odds.

I won't give up on them; I can't give up on them, I thought to myself as I chewed on my finger nails.

They won the next two games over a total of eight extra innings, as both went down to—and passed—the wire. With stolen bases, walk-off home runs, and pure resilience, they had made it a series.

I thought that it must be spring again, as it seemed that interest in the Red Sox season suddenly began to rebuild the momentum within the general fan populace.

Pale faces and tired eyes began re-emerging at the local bar scene.

I overheard conversations of how the Sox might be able to pull this off after all, but what I knew was that there was evil hanging over their head.

What the Red Sox faced were Games Six and Seven in Yankee Stadium. If you don’t know, Yankee Stadium is about as welcoming as the gates of hell to the armies of the archangel Michael.

The Red Sox would likely need his heavenly help to pull off such an unlikely of comebacks within the walls of such an unholy sanctuary.

I truly believed that my Red Sox would be able to pull off a comeback, but most of the Boston area questioned how much of a factor their 37-year-old wounded ace, Curt Schilling, could be during this magical run.

You see, the Yankees had made quick work of the starter in Game One, mainly due to a torn tendon sheath in his right ankle. He was entirely ineffective, and would require his torn tendon be sutured in place just to make the act of pitching well remotely feasible.

So I prayed.

That night my prayer was answered by Curt Schilling's sheer determination.

He pushed through pain, extreme exhaustion, and a hungry, potent New York Yankee offense to pitch seven innings, allowing only one run.

It was as if in his battered state he stood tall, and in the face of the Evil Empire yelled, "No! We will not go quietly into the night! We will not go out without a fight! We are Boston, and we will stand by achieving excellence no more!"

It was if Curt Schilling had fought back the ghost of the Great Bambino with Michael’s great sword of lightning, and conquered the demonic armies of Steinbrenner.

Curt’s performance essentially made Game Seven an after-thought.

There was no question in my mind that this was the year, as a strange calmness I had never felt about the Red Sox come over me, and I watched them win the remaining five games they would play that year.

I truly believe this unexpected and heroic performance to be the driving root of that season’s championship, and will be a part of Red Sox lore for generations.

We must never forget the sacrifices Curt Schilling made for us Boston fans that night.

He is warrior, and should be remembered as one.

Andrew Cahill is a true Boston sports fan. Check out his website, "Patriot Pat's Patsies."