The Top 10 Defining Moments in the Past Decade for the Boston Red Sox

Justin KeithCorrespondent IAugust 7, 2011

The Top 10 Defining Moments in the Past Decade for the Boston Red Sox

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    The Boston Red Sox are one of the most storied franchises in all of sports. Loyal fans, a historic ballpark and a rich tradition of excellence makes the Red Sox stand out over other organizations.

    Over the past decade, they have won two World Series titles and earned countless playoff berths as well as fielding some of the best players in baseball.

    Here is a collection of the top defining moments from the past 10 years in chronological order.

10. Aaron Boone's Walk-off Homerun

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    As painful as it might be, Aaron Boone's extra-inning home run against the Red Sox in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS was a defining moment for the Red Sox. It marks the end of a long streak of misfortune for the team.

    After Boone's home run, fans were heartbroken yet again by the team they invested so much in. Lucky for them, the home run was the last act in the "Curse of the Bambino."

The Thanksgiving Day Trade for Schilling

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    The addition of Curt Schilling near Thanksgiving of 2003 gave the Red Sox the most dynamic 1-2 punch in the American League. Paired with Pedro Martinez, Schilling gave the Red Sox everything he had.

    The most defining moment in Schilling's career came in Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS against the hated NY Yankees, where Schilling went seven innings on a surgically repaired ankle.

    He picked up the win on the mound and propelled the Red Sox into the World Series with one of gutsiest performances in postseason history.

Theo Trades Nomar; Gets Cabrera, Roberts and Mientkiewicz

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    Nomar Garciaparra had been the face of the Red Sox since he broke into the big leagues. But with diminishing skills and a proneness to injury, the Red Sox had to make a difficult decision and traded the icon to the Chicago Cubs in a multi-team deal.

    With the departure of Nomar came the arrival of shortstop Orlando Cabrera, outfielder Dave Roberts and first basemen Doug Mientkiewicz. The focus was on getting better defensively and along with doing so, the Red Sox were an instant World Series contender.

Dave Roberts' Steal in Game 4 of the ALCS

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    Down three games to none to the New York Yankees and trailing in the ninth inning against the greatest closer of all-time, Kevin Millar drew a walk. And that was just the beginning.

    Terry Francona's pinch ran for Millar and brought in speedy outfielder Dave Roberts. The Red Sox knew he was going to steal, the Yankees knew it, and the fans knew it. So when Roberts took off for second base, everyone held their breath.

    When the umpire signaled that Roberts was safe, the whole series shifted. Bill Mueller came up with a clutch single and Roberts scored tying the game, setting up the heroics for Big Papi in extra innings.

    The Red Sox never looked back, and the steal will go down as the greatest steal in Red Sox history.

2004 World Series Champions

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    THE most defining moment of the past decade and in Red Sox history was the World Series victory in 2004. Never has such relief been brought to one fan base as in the case of the 2004 Boston Red Sox.

    By winning the series in '04, they erased the ever haunting "Curse of the Bamino" and brought peace to a Nation of fans. The win went beyond baseball for fans, and grown men were overcome with tears and emotion.

    The story of the 2004 Boston Red Sox will live on another 100 years, not just in New England, but throughout the baseball world.

Trade for Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell

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    Red Sox fans knew Josh Beckett best for his stellar performance against the New York Yankees in the 2003 World Series, where he was unhittable.

    Beckett was brought to the Sox in a trade with the Florida Marlins for Hanley Ramirez, considered to be the next great Red Sox shortstop. The deal also brought a thrown in third basemen by the name of Mike Lowell.

    All Beckett and Lowell did was bring another championship to Boston and stabilize the rotation and hot corner for years to come.

Red Sox Win Dice-K Sweepstakes

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    In the offseason leading up the 2007 season, the Red Sox were in a bidding war for the services of a Japanese phenom named Daisuke Matsusaka. Matsusaka wowed scouts during the World Baseball Classic, and the Red Sox paid a hefty price to land him.

    Matsusaka won 18 games his first year and helped the Sox win a World Series. But everything went downhill from there.

    Plagued by injuries and poor performances, Daisuke found himself at odds with the Red Sox and the Red Sox fans. His slow pace on the mound made him unbearable to watch. With a season-ending injury this season, Daisuke's career with the Red Sox is almost certainly over.

    This move will go down as one of the worst in the Theo Epstein Era.

Another Championship for Boston

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    After their first World Series in 86 years in 2004, another Championship in 2007 was icing on the cake for Red Sox fans.

    Theo Epstein yet again compiled a great mix of veterans and young talent, and the 2007 Boston Red Sox would not be denied a second title since '04.

    Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury brought a youthful exuberance to the team, while veterans Manny Ramirez and Mike Lowell provided the power offensively. They steamrolled the Colorado Rockies on their way to another Fall Classic title.

Icon Manny Ramirez Gets Traded

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    Perhaps the Red Sox' greatest pure hitter since Ted Williams, Manny Ramirez wore out his welcome in 2009 with his on-the-field antics. "Manny Being Manny" was no longer funny to the team, and he was shipped out to Los Angeles at the Trade Deadline.

    Spending eight seasons with the Red Sox, Manny was one of the most feared players in the game. He earned repeated All-Star and Silver Slugger awards and was part of the best 3-4 combinations in baseball, with fellow Dominican, David Ortiz.

    His departure brought relief to the fans who would no longer be forced to watch him dog plays or go to the bathroom in the Green Monster. But it also brought the end to an era of dominance that Red Sox fans might not see for a long time.

Red Sox Spend Big on Gonzalez, Crawford

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    With some of the most talked about moves in baseball in the last decade, the Red Sox landed two All-Stars this past offseason in Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez.

    While a complete body of work can not yet be seen, the Red Sox sent a message to the rest of the league, saying that they want to compete for championships the next seven seasons and beyond.

    These moves will be looked back upon as moves that shifted power in the MLB in favor of the Boston Red Sox, and they will be favored year in and year out to win the AL Pennant.