Worst-to-first in the American League East wasn't enough for the Boston Red Sox, now four victories away from winning the eighth World Series Championship in team history—its third since 2004.
The Red Sox are headed to the WORLD SERIES! pic.twitter.com/aW2iiJJQYQ— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) October 20, 2013
Thanks to an error by former Boston prospect Jose Iglesias and a subsequent Shane Victorino grand slam in the bottom of the seventh inning of Game 6 of the ALCS, Boston dispatched the Detroit Tigers by a score of 5-2 to punch their ticket to the World Series, where they'll face the St. Louis Cardinals.
Closer Koji Uehara sealed the deal for Boston in the top of the ninth inning, striking out Iglesias to send the Fenway faithful into a frenzy:
I think Uehara gets outs just so Big Papi can lift him up in the air. #badman— Rollin Herold (@BR_Rollin) October 20, 2013
This is what Fenway looked like at exactly 12:03am ET: pic.twitter.com/EMrb26SOoX— MLB (@MLB) October 20, 2013
Oh, and he picked up a little piece of hardware for his efforts, joining one of the all-time greats in the process:
Koji Uehara is the 1st reliever to be named an LCS MVP since Mariano Rivera in 2003. He had 6 IP, 3 saves, 1 win and 0 runs allowed.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 20, 2013
While the celebration on the field and in the stands was terrific, the Red Sox wasted little time in getting down to business once they got back to the clubhouse, where some players managed to throw on some protective headgear:
David Ortiz decided to pass on the full helmet, choosing instead to go with only a pair of ski goggles:
Popppppppin Bottles! https://t.co/vRZYa473g0— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) October 20, 2013
Even the kids got involved.
While Victorino's grand slam put the Red Sox ahead for good in the ALCS, folks weren't about to forget about the real driving force behind Boston's incredible run to the Fall Classic—the team's phenomenal collection of facial hair:
Facial hair wins again— Gabe Zaldivar (@gabezal) October 20, 2013
Everybody keep those beards growing for a few weeks longer! #RedSox— Ace Gershfield (@Ace6one7) October 20, 2013
If you happen to be a Boston fan who believes that history repeats itself, well, you'll enjoy seeing this:
Nine years ago, the Red Sox met the Cardinals in the World Series—and swept them in four games.
While there was no bloody sock involved in this year's Game 6 of the ALCS, the end result was the same—Boston heading to the Fall Classic. Will history repeat itself again once the World Series starts?
Only time will tell.