Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Look Back at the 2004 Champs - I'm Getting Old

Last night the Red Sox game was sort of on in the background at our house, as it is most nights, and I caught the end of a pre-game ceremony honoring the 2004 World Series Championship team.  I have fond memories of that team, as a 22-year-old living out on my own with an opportunity to attend a few games that year it was a great time in my life as a fan.

What I was amazed at was just how many players from that team were available to attend last night's ceremony in person, which means no longer playing Major League Baseball.  I'm 31 now, and for one of the first times in my life I sat there and thought "crap, I'm getting old!".

I decided to take a look at the members of that famed team and see where they are now 10 years later.  Since this is a card blog I'll be supplementing with some cardboard from my Red Sox collection.  First, the starting 9 as I recall it...

Johnny Damon went on to play for a few different clubs, including the Yankees.  While he hasn't officially retired, he hasn't played since the Indians released him in August of 2012.  Score 1 for retired.

Played for many other teams after leaving Boston, retired after the 2011 season.  Another point for retired.

Here's one of the only exceptions to the trend, Big Papi is still chugging along amassing home runs and RBI a decade later, and has played a huge part in bringing two more World Series Championships to Boston since.

Retired amid questionable circumstances and just 17 at-bats with the Rays in 2011.

Team captain Jason Varitek retired after 2011, that's 4-1 retired if you're keeping score.

Retired, last action seen in 2010 with the Cubs.  Now hosts a show that I've never seen, but automatically hate based on its stupid name.

Retired, last played in 2007 with the Reds.

Retired after 2006.  Starting to see why this ceremony made me feel old?

Finished career in 2008 with the Mets?!?!  I can honestly say I completely forgot about that, if I ever knew it at all.

So, out of the starting 9 every player but David Ortiz is now retired.  How about bench depth?  In fairness, a couple of guys I couldn't find Red Sox cards of...Dave Roberts (how can that be?  I need to remedy that ASAP), Gabe Kapler and Pokey Reese.  All three are retired though, with Reese actually never having played another game after that '04 Series (strange).  I did find cards of a few bench guys though...



Playing baseball in Japan now.  I consider that retired for the purpose of this exercise.

How about starting pitchers?  Schilling is retired, and facing some serious health challenges.  Although he completely screwed the state I call home via his now-bankrupt, state-funded video game company, I do sincerely wish him good health and good luck in dealing with his illness.  It was good to see him on the field for the ceremony.



Retired.  Still the best pitcher I've seen in my lifetime as a fan. 

I couldn't find a Sox card of Bronson Arroyo (may have torn them all up when I heard his terrible cover band), but he's still playing, so he joins David Ortiz in that club so far.  How about the bullpen?  Couldn't find cards of Curtis Lescanic (retired) or Alan Embree (retired), but here are the guys I did find in my boxes...

Won another championship with Boston in 2007 (plus was on both of those early-'90s Blue Jays winners), retired in 2009 with last MLB action in 2008.  Mike was an absolute workhorse, with over 1,000 career appearances.  Hope he's resting that arm now!

I only have half a card of Mike Myers, but it's something.  Also retired.

Last but not least, the closer and the man who got the final out, Keith Foulke.

So, out of the entire 25-man World Series roster from 2004, exactly two players are still active in the league.

Man, I'm getting old.


Mark said...

Wow, that's pretty crazy. Of course the 04 team also seemed to be lacking in young and/or homegrown players with the exception of Youk. Even as someone who doesn't consider himself a Red Sox fan, they were a fun team to watch.

Swing And A Pop-up said...

If you think 31 is old, I'm not telling you how old I am.

Anonymous said...

If it makes you feel better, I'm a Mets fan and I had to pause to remember Trot Nixon finishing up his career in Queens.

Just wait until every player is younger than you are... Worse yet, wait until some of the managers are younger than you are.

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