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SPORTSMEN OF THE YEAR
TOM VERDUCCI
December 06, 2004
The 2004 Boston Red Sox staged the most improbable comeback in baseball history and liberated their long-suffering nation of fans
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December 06, 2004

Sportsmen Of The Year

The 2004 Boston Red Sox staged the most improbable comeback in baseball history and liberated their long-suffering nation of fans

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It was 11:40 p.m. The Red Sox were jumping upon one another in the middle of the diamond. They were world champions.

George Sumner had waited a lifetime to see this--79 years, to be exact, the last three while fighting cancer. He drew upon whatever strength was left in his body and in the loudest whisper that was possible he said, "Yippee!"

And then he closed his eyes and went to sleep.

"It was probably the last real conscious moment he ever had," Leah says.

George opened his eyes one last time the next day. When he did he saw that he was surrounded by his extended family. He said, "Hi," and went back to sleep for the final time.

George Sumner, avid Red Sox fan, passed away at 2:30 a.m. on Oct. 29. He was laid to rest with full military honors on Nov. 2.

On the day that George Sumner died, Alice and Jaime Andrews took home a healthy baby boy. They named him Damon.

Dear Red Sox:

Thank you, 2004 World Series Champs, Boston Red Sox. It was worth the wait.

--closing lines of the obituary for Cynthia Marie Riley-Rubino in a Hamden, Conn., newspaper, sent to the team by another fan

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