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Ramirez wins World Series MVP

Posted: Thursday October 28, 2004 12:44AM; Updated: Thursday October 28, 2004 1:25AM
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  Manny Ramirez
Manny Ramirez batted .412 with a homer and four RBIs against the Cardinals.
AP

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Manny Ramirez owns a treasured spot in Red Sox lore -- the shy kid who grew up in the shadow of Yankee Stadium is Boston's first World Series MVP.

Ramirez and the Red Sox finished off a four-game sweep of St. Louis with a 3-0 victory Wednesday night, giving them their first World Series title since 1918.

"I never thought I'd get to be part of a World Series winner. But it's fun, let me tell you," Ramirez said. "Before we went to spring training, I told my wife ... I'm going to be the MVP of something. And I did it."

A feared hitter throughout his stellar career, Ramirez batted .412 (7-for-17) with a homer and four RBIs against the Cardinals, helping the Red Sox end 86 years of pain and futility.

Now his clutch performance in October will be remembered forever, from Kenmore Square in the heart of Boston to the mountains of Maine in upper New England.

That was the idea when then-general manager Dan Duquette signed Ramirez to a $160 million, eight-year deal in December 2000.

One of the best all-around hitters in recent memory, Ramirez put up prodigious power numbers during his first three seasons with the Red Sox. But his awful defense, deplorable baserunning and hefty contract prompted the team to place him on waivers last offseason.

The new front-office regime then tried to trade him to Texas for AL MVP Alex Rodriguez. The deal fell through, and Ramirez was back in left field this season, flubbing fly balls and hitting homers over the Green Monster at Fenway Park.

He won his first AL home run crown, connecting 43 times. He also led the league in slugging percentage (.613) and finished with 130 RBIs. But his absent-minded play kept skeptics wondering if he was really the guy to finally carry Boston to postseason glory.

A long lineage of great sluggers had tried and failed, from Jimmie Foxx to Ted Williams to Carl Yastrzemski and Jim Rice.

But it's Ramirez who became a champion, earning every penny of that enormous contract. And now he has the MVP trophy every player really wants.

"Anything is possible," Ramirez said. "We proved we could win. We broke The Curse. I'm just so happy. I can't wait to go back home and celebrate."

The MVP was the second big honor of the night for Ramirez. Before the game, he and Barry Bonds received the 2004 Hank Aaron Award, recognizing the outstanding offensive player in each league. Ramirez also won with Cleveland in 1999, when he had 165 RBIs.

Ramirez hit safely in all 14 postseason games for the Red Sox, extending his streak to 17 postseason games overall, dating to last year. His third-inning single Wednesday night helped set up Trot Nixon's two-run double that made it 3-0.

"It's unbelievable," Ramirez said. "I've got two things on my mind that I want to accomplish before I'm done with this game. First one is to get the ring and the second is to get to the Hall of Fame. That's two things that nobody can take away from you."

World Series MVPs
Year Player Team
2004 Manny Ramirez Boston (AL)
2003 Josh Beckett Florida (NL)
2002 Troy Glaus Anaheim (AL)
2001 Curt Schilling, Randy Johnson Arizona (NL)
2000 Derek Jeter New York (AL)
1999 Mariano Rivera New York (AL)
1998 Scott Brosius New York (AL)
1997 Livan Hernandez Florida (NL)
1996 John Wetteland New York (AL)
1995 Tom Glavine Atlanta (NL)
1994 No Series
1993 Paul Molitor Toronto (AL)
1992 Pat Borders Toronto (AL)
1991 Jack Morris Minnesota (AL)
1990 Jose Rijo Cincinnati (NL)
1989 Dave Stewart Oakland (AL)
1988 Orel Hershiser Los Angeles (NL)
1987 Frank Viola Minnesota (AL)
1986 Ray Knight New York (NL)
1985 Bret Saberhagen Kansas City (AL)
1984 Alan Trammell Detroit (AL)
1983 Rick Dempsey Baltimore (AL)
1982 Darrell Porter St. Louis (NL)
1981 Ron Cey, Pedro Guerrero, Steve Yeager Los Angeles (NL)
1980 Mike Schmidt Philadelphia (NL)
1979 Willie Stargell Pittsburgh (NL)
1978 Bucky Dent New York (AL)
1977 Reggie Jackson New York (AL)
1976 Johnny Bench Cincinnati (NL)
1975 Pete Rose Cincinnati (NL)
1974 Rollie Fingers Oakland (AL)
1973 Reggie Jackson Oakland (AL)
1972 Gene Tenace Oakland (AL)
1971 Roberto Clemente Pittsburgh (NL)
1970 Brooks Robinson Baltimore (AL)
1969 Donn Clendenon New York (NL)
1968 Mickey Lolich Detroit (AL)
1967 Bob Gibson St. Louis (NL)
1966 Frank Robinson Baltimore (AL)
1965 Sandy Koufax Los Angeles (NL)
1964 Bob Gibson St. Louis (NL)
1963 Sandy Koufax Los Angeles (NL)
1962 Ralph Terry New York (AL)
1961 Whitey Ford New York (AL)
1960 Bobby Richardson New York (AL)
1959 Larry Sherry Los Angeles (NL)
1958 Bob Turley New York (AL)
1957 Lew Burdette Milwaukee (NL)
1956 Don Larsen New York (AL)
1955 Johnny Podres Brooklyn (NL)

Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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