Originally Posted by Huisj
My favorite Carlos Lee memory was the gave tying homer he hit off Mariano Rivera in leading off the 9th in a game in the June of 2000 when the Sox were on fire. It was a week after the 7-day 7-win road trip to Cleveland and New York. I had a closing shift at my summer job, and in the car on the way home I heard that the Sox had just given up 2 runs to fall behind by a run.
I got home in time to turn it on on WGN to see Lee mash a rocket HR to left on the first pitch of the inning. I jumped and pumped my fist and woke up my dad from upstairs, and he came down expecting to complain to me to keep it down, but then realized what had just happened and stuck around to watch the end.
They continued on to win by manufacturing a run on a single (Herbert Perry), a sacrifice bunt (Brooke Fordyce), and groundout to move the runner to 3rd (Ray Durham), and a broken bat looper over the infield by Jose Valentin that I later had vivid flashbacks to when Luis Gonzalez got basically the same hit off a Rivera cutter to end the 2001 World Series. Heck of time to get home from work in the middle of a heck of a fun stretch in a fun season.
I was AT that game. When Rivera came in I figured that the game was over. Surprise! It's too bad that the core of that year's team ended up so frustratingly inconsistent over the next few years. With that much power and offensive potential, they only managed one division title. I thought at the time that they had created a powerhouse line-up that would dominate the division like Cleveland did in the late 90s. If only they had a 5th starter and could manage to beat the Twins (or even the terrible Tigers team in 2003!).