The Atlantic

The Yankees–Red Sox Rivalry Is Back in Full Force

As New York and Boston clash for American League supremacy, the excitement that surrounded the teams last decade looks to have returned.
Source: Steven Senne / AP

This Sunday will mark the 14th anniversary of one of the most thrilling regular-season baseball games in recent history. On July 1, 2004, the Red Sox and Yankees delivered a 13-inning epic still remembered for Manny Ramirez’s two home runs, Alex Rodriguez’s brilliant double play, John Flaherty’s walk-off hit and, most of all, Derek Jeter’s legendary dive into the Yankee Stadium stands.

At that time, the Yankees and Red Sox seemed to generate classic moments whenever they met. The previous year, in 2003, they had squared off in a dramatic American League Championship Series, full of bean balls and benches-clearing incidents, and and Aaron Boone’s pennant-winning home run. Months after that July 1, 2004, showdown, the teams would meet again in the ALCS, with Boston erasing a 3–0 series deficit on the way to the franchise’s first World Series title in 86 years. In 2005, the rivals tied atop the AL East. In 2006, the Yankees buried the Sox with a devastating five-game sweep in August. In 2007, the Red Sox edged the Yankees in the division race and captured another championship. In a sport hailed for its uncertainty, these two teams, and their antipathy toward each other, were a constant for the better part of a decade.

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