Boston Red Sox: Keith Foulke on the 2004 World Series

BOSTON, MA - MAY 28: Former Boston Red Sox player Keith Foulke walks onto the field with the 2004 World Series trophy while being honored prior to the game between the Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves at Fenway Park on May 28, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. The pregame ceremony commemorated the 2004 World Series Championship Boston Red Sox team. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MAY 28: Former Boston Red Sox player Keith Foulke walks onto the field with the 2004 World Series trophy while being honored prior to the game between the Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves at Fenway Park on May 28, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. The pregame ceremony commemorated the 2004 World Series Championship Boston Red Sox team. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
2 of 3
Next
(Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images) /

With multiple teams interested, what made Keith Foulke choose the Boston Red Sox?

“There were several different factors but the biggest one is I wanted a championship. I really wanted to play for a big market team and have a legit shot at winning a World Series” said the 11-year veteran.

Fresh off a season where his former team lost in the ALDS to Boston, Foulke arrived at Spring Training with an open mind and an eagerness to win.

"“Theo and ownership put together a package that I couldn’t turn down. But they built that team to win and we ran out there with the expectation to be World Champions.” – Keith Foulke on the 2004 Boston Red Sox roster"

Theo Epstein is a no-doubt Hall of Fame executive today and Keith Foulke is enjoying retirement knowing his name is etched in the history books forever. But at the time, Epstein was a young executive finding his barrings and Foulke, an elite closer. As different men from different worlds, the pair had a conversation prior to signing the closer to a contract.

light. More. Boston Red Sox: David Ortiz should not be a lock for HoF

“The gist of that whole conversation was if you win a championship in Boston…,” recalled he former reliever before he paused for a moment. He looked up, smiled, and said “You’re going to be remembered forever.”

At the trade deadline in 2004, Boston traded star shortstop Nomar Garciaparra and Matt Murton to the Chicago Cubs as part of a 4-team deal. The Boston Red Sox received Orlando Cabrera from the Cubs and first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz from the Minnesota Twins as well as infielder Dave Roberts from the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Boston went on to win 22 of its next 25 games and finished the season just three games back of the New York Yankees for the division. Their play was good enough to earn them the American League Wild Card.