The 2013 MLB Fall Classic is finally here. Starting Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. EST, the St. Louis Cardinals will face the Boston Red Sox in a matchup of two classic MLB franchises and a rematch of the 2004 World Series.
The Red Sox and Cardinals owned the best records in American League and National League, respectively (each 97-65), marking the first time the World Series has featured teams that finished the season with the best record in the AL and NL since 1999 (Yankees and Braves). The 2013 matchup will be the fourth time the Red Sox and Cardinals have squared off in the World Series – Boston swept the Cards in 2004, while St. Louis won the other two battles in 1946 and 1967. These storied franchises have changed significantly since the 2004 series, however. David Ortiz and Yadier Molina, two Franklin Pros, are the only remaining players who participated in the ’04 series. Ortiz was a major contributor recording four RBI’s, one double, one home run and three runs in 13 at-bats. Molina was just a backup at the time and appeared in three games recording one hit in seven at-bats
Not much has changed for Ortiz – he went on to win one more World Series in 2007 and remains one of the most dominant and clutch hitters in baseball. Ortiz has never lost a World Series game – the Red Sox swept the Cardinals in 2004 and pulled out the brooms again in 2007 knocking off the Colorado Rockies in the minimum four games. Ortiz posted great numbers in both series totaling nine hits in 28 at-bats with four doubles, one home run, eight RBI’s and seven runs. And let’s not forget about another Boston Red Sox leader, and Franklin Pro, Dustin Pedroia. In 2004 Pedroia was playing single-A ball for the Red Sox, but he received a full-time shot in 2007 and never looked back. After winning Rookie of the Year in ’07, Pedroia went on to post five hits, one double, one home run, four RBI’s and two runs scored in the Red Sox World Series sweep over Colorado.
Molina has blossomed into an All-Star catcher and a leader in the Cardinals’ clubhouse. St. Louis has won two World Series titles since 2004 – one against the Detroit Tigers in 2006 and a second in 2011 defeating the Texas Rangers. In two World Series appearances since 2004 Molina has recorded 15 hits in 41 at-bats with four doubles and 10 RBI’s in 12 games. Don’t forget to tune in on Wednesday night and watch the World Series unfold, and keep your eyes peeled for the latest Franklin batting glove design David Ortiz plans on wearing during the series. Make sure to check back with the Franklin Sports blog to keep track of your favorite Franklin Pros.