Details surrounding the forthcoming 2013 Fall Classic couldn’t have been scripted any better. As reported by ESPN, for the first time since 1999, the World Series will feature teams with the best regular season records in baseball. Not to mention, said teams come equipped with quite a bit of history, and either way, one franchise will hoist the Commissioner’s Trophy for the third time in nine years.
Cardinals-Red Sox to Battle in Rematch of 2004 World Series
The teams in question are of course, the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals, who both went 97-65 on the year and have become regular postseason fixtures over the last decade. One of the many storylines surrounding the series comes courtesy of 2004, the last time the Red Sox and Cardinals met in the Fall Classic. It also will long be remembered as the year Boston shed the dreaded “curse” that was believed by many to have haunted the team for 86 years.
The Red Sox needed only four games to defeat the Cardinals, clinching on the road at Busch Stadium in a scene of celebration most notably documented at the end of the 2005 romantic comedy, “Fever Pitch,” that starred Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore.
Matheny, Cards Looking to Even the Score
Though the vast majority of personnel have changed for each team in the last nine years, one prominent piece remains for the Cardinals in manager Mike Matheny. As the catcher for the Cards from 2000-04, Matheny’s final game for the club came against the Red Sox, and the matchup also marked the only World Series appearance in his 13-year playing career.
Now, in his second season at the helm for St. Louis, Matheny will have a second shot at Boston as he looks to lead the franchise to its 12th championship win. Interestingly enough, current catcher Yadier Molina also was a part of the 2004 team. The then-21-year-old rookie served as backup behind the plate for Matheny before taking over full time in 2005.
Return to Form for Red Sox
Though the Red Sox went on to win another World Series title in 2007, they hadn’t done much in the postseason since then, but under the guidance of first-year manager, John Farrell, 2013 marked Boston’s first playoff appearance since 2009, and first AL East crown since 2007. After the struggles of the 2012 campaign, few could have imagined the team would rebound so quickly the very next year, as it’s certainly not something commonly achieved. In fact, the Red Sox became just the seventh team since 1990 to reach the World Series following a last-place finish in the division, according to data from Elias Sports Bureau.
Pearl Jam to Provide Soundtrack to Fall Classic
As baseball fans watching from home may have picked up on over the years, annual World Series television coverage typically comes with a “soundtrack” of sorts. This year, Fox Sports and MLB announced that the songs of Pearl Jam would be featured throughout the Fall Classic in a deal that coincides nicely with the Oct. 15 release of the group’s new album, “Lightning Bolt,” and start of its fall tour.
2013 World Series Schedule
Fenway Park | Boston
Game 1 – Oct. 23
Game 2 – Oct. 24
Game 6* - Oct. 30
Game 7* - Oct. 31
Busch Stadium | St. Louis
Game 3 – Oct. 26
Game 4 – Oct. 27
Game 5* - Oct. 28