Shane Victorino was already loved by Red Sox Nation in his first year with the club, but his grand slam home run in the seventh inning of Game 6 of the ALCS helped propel Boston to the World Series, forever cementing his status amongst Red Sox fans.
Forget the fact that Victorino was 2-for-23 in the series heading into the at-bat. This is the kind of moment that makes statistics like that meaningless to fans.
Here's reactions from Alex Avila and Victorino via Jesse Spector of the Sporting News:
Alex Avila said the grand slam pitch was a curveball there was nothing really wrong with. Except where it ended up.— Jesse Spector (@jessespector) October 20, 2013
Victorino: "Lots of thoughts were going through my head -- how I was going to explain not getting that bunt down..."— Jesse Spector (@jessespector) October 20, 2013
For his part, this is how he was greeted in the eighth inning when he went out to right field:
Fans took to Twitter as well to voice their pleasure with what Victorino did:
@ShaneVictorino I LOVE YOU MORE THAN LIFE ITSELF— Andrea (@loyalx3andrea) October 20, 2013
I hate the red sox but Shane Victorino was the definition of clutch tonight— Reyn Shitanishi (@reynshits) October 20, 2013
Of course, the home run also makes Boston fans remember what happened in Game 2 when David Ortiz stepped to the plate.
He also hammered a grand slam that propelled the Red Sox to the win.
Ironically, Ortiz struggled throughout the series in the same way Victorino did. Combined they went 5-for-46 with two home runs and nine RBI. But it was those four-RBI swings in separate games that ended up being the difference for the Red Sox.
It's an image that will last forever for some.
Live it up Boston...St. Louis comes to town on Wednesday.